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B OF F libraries 

Copyright 1988 

Jeremy Horne 

To Jackie 

You brought me good luck and evidence for my contentions. 

You surely remember this quote: 

You hire someone because you will earn more from 
his labor than you will pay him in wages." 


My initial thanks for helping make this 
dissertation possible are to the chairperson of my 
committee, Richard P. Haynes. Besides patiently going 
over the numerous revisions of the manuscript, he 
greatly assisted as graduate coordinator in getting me 
admitted to the department and procuring my teaching 
assistantship . 

I am deeply indebted to Donald C. Hodges under 
whom I have studied since 197 6. His deep insight has 
been invaluable in guiding me through one of the most 
valuable political philosophy programs I think a person 
can experience. Don is one of the few individuals who 
know the nature of the trail I have had to follow in 
obtaining my Ph.D. In particular, I appreciate his 
picking up where others left off in seeing this 
dissertation through. 

Ellen Haring patiently read the manuscript and 
contributed her valuable time and advice about the form 
of presentation. Robert D'Amico's persistent warnings 
about objectivity and philosophical relevance helped 



keep the project on an even keel. Norman Market and I 
had many conversations about labor politics and social 
theory, and much of his valuable counsel has been 
incorporated herein. Sam Andrews contributed many 
helpful hints on sources and to him I am grateful. 

Although Robert Baum did not contribute directly to 
this work, he gave me continued moral support and 
valuable assistance in my professional development in 
coaching me in my responsibilities as teaching assistant 
in logic. Of course, other departmental members helped 
enormously . 

Here, in Arizona, Perlita Gauthier took her 
valuable time in editing this manuscript, Sandi Reynolds 
typed the final draft, and my friend Dan Purcell helped 
me print the final copy. Without their assistance many 
last minute deadlines would not have been met. 

My companion, Jacqueline Olan, put up with my 
grouchiness, had the patience to stand by me during 
numerous wretched moments, and provided the biggest 

motivation of all. 









The Americanism versus Communism Act 7 

The Free Enterprise and Consumer Education Act.... 13 
What Social Studies Texts Teach 18 


How the State Administers the D.O.E. Program 27 

How Businesses Implement the D.O.E. Program 30 


The Issue of Ideology 37 

How the D.O.E. Defines Ideology 39 

What Mainstream Writers Say About Ideology 42 


Niemeyer's Philosophy 49 

Classical Foundations of the D.O.E. Ideology 58 

The Authoritarian Basis of the D.O.E. Program 65 

The Role of Religion and Faith 

in the D.O.E. Ideology 70 

How Freedom and Liberty Shape the D.O.E. Ideology. 73 
Critical Thinking As A Part of the D.O.E. Program. 76 




How Students Are Told They Must Act 

in the Workplace 86 

Business Values Underlying the Curriculum 93 

What the Business Values Mean 97 


What Constitutes Reasoning and Critical Thinking. 103 

What Logic Is 114 

What It Means To Think Philosophically 118 


The D.O.E. System of Logic 122 

The D.O.E. 's Deductive Methodology 130 

Other Logical Approaches 137 

Criteria For Analyzing Social Systems 141 


Why Change Is Needed 144 

Alternative Cold War Education Programs 148 

What A Cold War Education Program Must Address ... 153 
The California Program 156 








Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate 
School of the University of Florida in Partial 
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy 




Jeremy Horne 

December, 1988 

Chairman: Richard P. Haynes 
Major Department: Philosophy 

In order to graduate, Florida's high school 
students by law must learn that Communism is evil, 
dangerous, and fallacious. All students must learn that 
the U.S. produces the highest standard of living and the 
most freedom than any other economic system on earth. 
State universities in Florida are creating a curriculum 
to implement the Americanism versus Communism Act 
(A.V.C.) of 1961 and the Free Enterprise and Consumer 
Education Act (F.E.C.E.A.) of 1975. 

The Florida Department of Education says that 
ideology, noncritical thinking, is superior to 



critical thinking and that the superiority of the U.S. 
political economy and the dignity of the individual rest 
in part on peoples' being able to express themselves 

Florida's A.V.C. and F.E.C.E.A. proponents have a 
special way of convincing audiences that they will 
develop loyalty while at the same time imposing a set of 
ideas not open to question. 

This work argues that, intentionally or not, 
Florida's legislature and Department of Education have 
set up an official ideology and the mechanism to purvey 
it. This ideological approach defeats the aim of 
comparing systems objectively. While the stated aim is 
to promote critical thinking, the D.O.E.'s special 
philosophy underscoring words like "democracy" results 
in indoctrinating students with a questionable 
description of the U.S. system. 


In order to graduate, Florida's high school 
students by law must be "informed as to the evils, 
dangers and fallacies of Communism" and understand that 
"the free-enterprise-competitive economy" is the one 
system that "produces higher wages, higher standards of 
living, greater personal freedom and liberty than any 
other system of economics on earth" {Florida Revised 
Statutes 233.064). This means giving the answers 
mandated by law and wanted by the Department of 
Education (D.O.E.), even though the U.S. system is 
continually being debated in public forums and election 
campaigns. Teachers, says the legislature, are not to 
"present Communism as preferable" to the U.S. "free- 
enterprise-competitive economy." To meet what the 
legislators see as the "challenge" of communism's 
"manipulation of youth and student groups" Florida's 
Department of Education (D.O.E.) has an ongoing 
curriculum mandated by the Americanism vs. Communism Act 
(A.V.C.) and the Free Enterprise and Consumer Education 
Act (F.E.C.E.A.) (collectively referred to herein as 



"program"). This program, in which the answers to 
questions of relative value are dictated by the teaching 
materials, is implicitly justified by the need to combat 
ideology--specif ically communism (233.064). 

Communism, says the D.O.E., "is an ideology," and 
ideology is "a system of ideas . . . which its adherents 
do not consider open to question or criticism" {Florida 
State 19-20). "The Communist Party's aim is to conquer 
the world . . . ," and that party's ideology "provides 
the communist with a false belief of reality" Florida 
State 34). To combat these "evils, dangers and 
fallacies of Communism" the legislature wants teachers 
to "instill in the minds of students a greater 
appreciation of democratic processes," and that means 
teaching students the opposite of ideology, that is, 
philosophy. Ideology, says the D.O.E., is noncritical 
thinking, and philosophy is critical thinking {Florida 
State 18). The D.O.E. claims that the superiority of 
the U.S. political economy and the dignity of the 
individual rest in part on peoples' being able to 
express themselves freely in a critical manner. Both 
the D.O.E. and the legislature have said much on the 
relationship between the dignity of the individual and 
free speech. 


Florida's legislature tells the D.O.E. to take as 
one of the guides for instructional material the 
"official reports of the [defunct] House Committee on 
Un-American Activities ..." (also known by its more 
pronounceable acronym, "H.U.A.C."). The H.U.A.C. issued 
a statement "Americanism Defined, " and that is referred 
to in the D.O.E. curriculum guide on the A.V.C. Act 
(Florida State 65). That statement says a person's 
inalienable rights include the freedom of speech and 
press, and the D.O.E. reinforces this by averring that 
individual dignity and worth is possible "only when 
individuals are given free access to all different 
competing viewpoints" (4, 65). 

Legislators wanted the program to counter 
"communism" and Marxism for the isms' dogmatic approach 
to thinking. Gerhart Niemeyer, chief consultant for the 
A.V.C. program, wrote several works accusing Marxists of 
being ideological. Both the legislature and the D.O.E. 
detest communism and Marxism, claiming that the "isms" 
do not promote critical thinking. "The proper study of 
communism," says the D.O.E. "is similar to that of a 
scientist who examines the poison in order to offset its 
evil effect." In teaching the A.V.C. curriculum, "it is 
suggested that a critical analytical approach be used" 


in teaching about the "cominunist conspiracy" {Florida 
State 12). Students are urged by the D.O.E. to think 
critically as dignified individuals, even though they 
are expected to believe a social doctrine before they 
see it demonstrated as best in comparison with others. 
Florida's A.V.C. and F.E.C.E.A. proponents have a 
special way of convincing audiences of the program's 
benefits while at the same time imposing a set of ideas 
not open to question. The legislature warns of 
communism's "false doctrines" and "manipulation of 
youth" {Statutes, 233.064), and the D.O.E. says that 
"double-talk" has been used as "a prominent communist 
deceptive device to fool non-communists" {Florida State 
19). If students follow the guidance of legislators, it 
is argued that communism will be less able to take over 
the world by deceit and force. 

Programs similar to that of Florida's are 
widespread, many are established by law, and present 
fundamental problems on how to promote critical 
thinking. Besides the nationwide implications of 
Florida's attempt to suppress any challenge to 
capitalism, the Florida program needs also to be 
examined in the light of the continuing effort to 
promote critical thinking in the schools. 


This work argues that, intentionally or not, 
Florida's legislature and Department of Education have 
set up an official ideology and the mechanism to purvey 
it. This ideological approach defeats the aim of 
comparing systems objectively. While the stated aim is 
to promote critical thinking, the D.O.E.'s special 
philosophy of underscoring words like "democracy" 
results in indoctrinating students with a questionable 
description of the U.S. system. 

The ostensible D.O.E. objective of critical 
thinking becomes transformed under the influence of the 
philosophy of Gerhart Niemeyer and like-minded 
conservatives shaping the program. Both the A.V.C. and 
F.E.C.E.A. are products of a cold war philosophy that 
pits the U.S. system against others. Private businesses 
are advocates of the D.O.E. program, and numerous 
statements by "free enterprise" supporters demonstrate 
that the D.O.E. program serves more the interests of 
its sponsors than the ideal of teaching students to be 
open-minded. Materials used to orient students to the 
workplace reinforce the values of the program's 
sponsors. Rather than promoting critical thinking, it is 
a program serving the interests of those who seem to 


believe that the average individual cannot think 
critically . 

It will be shown why the current curriculum does 
not accomplish the D.O.E.'s stated objective of teaching 
students to think critically. Clarifying the meaning of 
critical thinking will help in designing a program to 
meet that objective. The second part of this work 
evaluates the D.O.E. program according to generally 
accepted standards for critical thinking and suggests 
the California model curriculum as a type of alternative 




The Arnericanism versus Cominunism Act 
Americanism versus communism debates in the U.S. 
go back to the 1870s when Birdsey Grant Northrop of the 
Connecticut State Board of Education wrote an essay 
called "Schools and Communism." He deplored "communism" 
and assured persons that the public schools were 
teaching students to be loyal to the U.S., and children 
would not be turned into Communists (Fraser 355). Since 
the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917, anti- 
communist hysteria has surfaced numerous times in the 
U.S., evidenced by the 1920 's Red Scare, the loyalty 
oath and internal security acts of the late 1940s, 
President Truman's 12 March 1947 containment-of - 
communism speech, and the McCarthy period. After the 
Korean War, Florida's anti-communist activists began 
formulating their programs (Florida State iii-vi). 

Florida Bar Association members in 1955 went to 
schools and delivered a lecture, "The Meaning of 
Communism, " published and issued jointly by the Bar and 



the Florida State Department of Education (D.O.E.). So 
popular was this tract that it received national acclaim 
and endorsement by many influential conservative 
organizations, such as Freedoms Foundation. Pressure 
mounted from both the Florida public and from government 
officials to create a public high school course composed 
of similar materials, and in the ensuing years, the 
D.O.E. proposed such a curriculum to the legislature 
(Florida State iii). 

The course material was taken principally from the 
hearings and publications of the old House Committee on 
Un-American Activities (also known by its more 
pronounceable acronym, "H.U.A.C.") and Senate Internal 
Security Subcommittee (S.I.S.C.) and their supporters. 
The major thrust of the political orientation course 
proposed to the legislature was anti-communist, and the 
course name, "Americanism versus Communism," suggests 
that the instructors should contrast the two systems 
rather than compare them. To meet what the legislators 
described as a challenge of the Communist "exploitation 
and manipulation of youth and student groups," the 
course was to "instill in the minds of students" not 
only the "evils, danger and fallacies of communism" but 
"a greater appreciation of democratic processes, freedom 


under law, and the will to preserve that freedom" 
(Florida Statutes 233 . 064 ( 1 ) (b) and 3). 

Cold war schooling became official when the Florida 
State Legislature acted upon the D.O.E.'s proposal and 
passed the "Americanism versus Communism Act of 1961." A 
program advisory committee, composed of legislators, 
private citizens, and educators first met in October 
1961 to put together the Americanism versus Communism 
curriculum, and by January of the following year, both 
the course content and the methods were ready to be 
approved by the D.O.E. and the state legislature. Ever 
since it was first taught in Florida's public high 
schools in September, 1962, the Americanism versus 
Communism course (hereinafter referred to as A.V.C.) has 
been a required course for graduation. The statute 
establishes the guidelines while the D.O.E. selects 
texts and other materials "as provided by state law" 
(233.064(6) ) . 

The law says that "The free enterprise competitive 
economy of the United States" is the economy "which 
produces higher wages, higher standards of living, 
greater personal freedom, and liberty than any other 
system of economics on earth" (Florida Revised Statutes 
233.064(4)). In its Resource Unit handbook the D.O.E. 


suggests students refer for a definition of Americanism 
to the H.U.A.C.'s statement "Americanism Defined." 
Americanism, says H.U.A.C., means that the "Inherent and 
fundamental rights of man are derived from God and not 
from any other source," as was stated in the Declaration 
of Independence. Second, the inherent or unalienable 
rights include freedom of worship, speech, press, 
assemblage, and right to work according to one's 
qualifications. As another right, one should enjoy the 
fruits of work, including property and the pursuit of 
happiness, as long as such activity does not prevent 
others from doing the same. Third, the structure of the 
U.S. government is based upon these principles. Fourth, 
law and order must be maintained to preserve these 
rights. Fifth, the government is the servant of the 
people, and a checks-and-balances system is necessary to 
control government power. Sixth, majority rule is far 
less important than minority rights. Finally, the 
statement accredits Americanist principles to the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution 
(Florida State 65). 

As to teaching methods, the statute said that "No 
teacher or textual material assigned to the course shall 
present Communism as preferable to the system of 


constitutional government and the free-enterprise 
competitive economy indigenous to the United States" 
(Florida Revised Statutes 233.064(7)). The D.O.E. course 
says course "materials should be used only to 
demonstrate the evils, fallacies, and contradictions of 
communism," those materials coming from the H.U.A.C. or 
S.I.S.C. lists or from avowed anti-communists (Florida 
State 68). The teachers were not to teach the course 
"unless informed about the nature of communism, " and 
those teachers feeling inadequately informed about 
communism, or unfamiliar with the course, its goals and 
content "should not attempt to teach it without first 
obtaining additional preparation" (Florida State vi). 

For example, a number of attempts to repeal the 
A.V.C. law have failed. On 4 June 1982, B. Frank Brown, 
program manager of the prestigious Charles S. Kettering 
Foundation and chairman of the Governor's Commission on 
Secondary Schools, sent a report to Governor Robert 
Graham recommending "the repeal of the requirement of a 
30-hour course in Americanism vs. Communism." Brown and 
five members of the Florida legislature, the 
superintendent of the Monroe County Schools, a member of 
the State Board of Education, and four others from 


educational establishments sat on the commission. They 
said that the A.V.C. course was hard to implement, and 
legislative requirements should pertain only to "major 
academic subjects" (Governor's XIII). The 1983 
legislature ignored the report, and by an 89 to 26 vote, 
the A.V.C. law was sustained. 

These failures suggest that the A.V.C. program 
still has enough support to keep it alive. The most 
recent stronghold of backing has been southern Florida, 
home of many Cuban exiles, who generally are militantly 
anti-Communist (Skene). However, as of Spring 1988, the 
original 1961 law was still on the books, and in order 
to graduate, high school students need to take "a 
comparative study of the history, doctrines, and 
objectives of all major political systems in fulfillment 
of the requirements of 233.064," the original A.V.C. Act 
(Florida Statutes 232 . 246 ( 1 ) (b) ( 5 ) ) . Teachers still have 
to use an antiquated bibliography from which to draw 
materials to instill in the minds of students the 
"evils" and "fallacies" of communism, indicating that 
academic interest in composing a new bibliography is 


The Free Enterprise and Consumer Education Act 

Another indoctrination program was instituted in 
1975. Originally intended as a replacement for A.V.C., 
the Free Enterprise and Consumer Education Act 
(F.E.C.E.A.) now complements the A.V.C. by emphasizing 
economics (Florida Statutes 233.0641). As early as March 
1963, the social studies consultant for the D.O.E. noted 
that new accreditation standards placed the 
responsibility for economic education upon the teachers 
and schools. Such a program would involve "The 
curriculum from K-12," and it assumed that students did 
not understand the philosophy and structure of the "free 
enterprise" economy to which the A.V.C. referred 
(Kastner 33 ) . 

The law states , "The free enterprise or 
competitive economic system exists as the prevailing 
economic system in the United States . . . " and "The 
public schools shall each conduct a free enterprise and 
consumer education program in which each student shall 
participate" (Florida Statutes 233.0641(2)). The law 
states that the course must include information about 
day-by-day consumer activities, such as banking, 
advertising, insurance, and "an orientation in other 


economic systems." With respect to what is expected of 
individuals, students learn what is and what is not 
suitable economic behavior through instruction at each 
grade level. Students are instilled with a doctrine 
before graduation, and an organizational apparatus 
exists to carry out the indoctrination program. 

According to the statute, the D.O.E. instructs 
personnel in the F.E.C.E.A.'s administration and 
involves other academic disciplines as well as private 
governmental organizations related to consumer 
education. The Commissioner of Education makes reports 
to the legislature about the program with recommended 
ways of gauging the curriculum's success. The D.O.E. 
gives reports "as to the effectiveness as shown by 
performance-based tests, efficiency, and utilization of 
resources" (Florida Statutes 233.0641(5)). Some 89 
objectives are to be accomplished by the Free Enterprise 
course. For example, students "will identify elements of 
the American economic system to include: freedom, 
opportunity, justice, efficiency, growth, and security." 
They must remember a number of specific definitions, 
such as "production [is] the creation of goods or 
services" (Goddard, Carr, and Randall, CH-310, 72-73). 


Students graduating from high school must have attained 
these objectives. 

For assistance in assembling the large F.E.C.E.A. 
curriculum, the D.O.E. called upon the Florida Council 
on Economic Education (F.C.E.E.), consisting of 
government and business personnel and one union 
representative. In turn, the F.C.E.E. board affiliated 
with university centers for economic education to create 
the curriculum (Florida Council, Annual Report). 

A description of the course content can best be 
obtained from materials prepared by the Center for 
Economic Education (C.E.E.), an organization co- 
sponsored by the College of Business Administration and 
the College of Education at the University of Florida. 
Although seven other universities prepare F.E.C.E.A. 
materials, the University of Florida is the only 
university creating a comprehensive economic orientation 
program (C.E.E. flier). University Centers may emphasize 
parts of the free enterprise program differently, but 
all 89 objectives have to be met by the schools. 

The C.E.E. groups the 89 objectives under 22 
headings. Subjects include comparative economic systemis, 
economic principles, organizations, and consumer 
behavior. Other topics are public and private property 


distribution, basic economic laws, economic institutions 
such as banks, and consumer habits. More topics are 
labor unions, governments, private entities, technology, 
energy, and ethics. Four text/workbooks prepared by the 
C.E.E. represent the kinds of material being taught at 
all grade levels. 

Among the first principles that grade school 
children must learn is the distinction between public 
and private property. "Private property" is that "which 
is owned by an individual or a group of individuals," 
while "public property" is property "owned by everyone 
and which should be used according to certain rules 
(Goddard, Carr, and Randall, CE-102, 2). In giving the 
impression that private property is sacrosanct, second 
graders are not taught that private property might have 
to be heavily regulated and that productive property 
should be used according to what is deemed desirable for 
society as a whole. Private property and private 
ownership of the means of production are treated as 
preferred institutions, while governmental functions 
primarily center about protecting property. The 
workbook on property tells a story about several people 
being robbed of their property and the need for the 
police . 


For the second grader, the excuse for taxes is to 
pay the police, whose major function is to preserve 
private property. The first impression that these very 
young children have of what a society should be is not 
that of a collective and cooperative entity, but a 
collection of individuals who use a strong-arm agency to 
protect their selfish interests. Although the grade two 
booklet later describes other governmental functions, 
the students initially are taught that private property 
is the primary institution around which governments and 
society revolve (Goddard et al., CE-102, 1). 

In Middle School (grades 7 through 9) students 
continue work with concepts relevant to a small pre- 
industrial economy. Everyone presumably is on an equal 
footing, and one's rationally calculated actions will 
have the desired and gainful results of hard work, 
competition, thrift, and inventiveness. Land, labor, 
capital, combined with management enables a 
businessperson to thrive, the principal reward being 
profit, "the reward for taking risk in business" 
(Goddard et al., CM-202, 21). 

High school students encounter a somewhat more 
sophisticated model of the U.S. economy. Social 
problems, such as unemployment and monopolies, temper 


the ideal economy presented in grammar school, although 
students are still taught that the U.S. economy is "free 
enterprise" and that it is the vastly superior political 
economy (Goddard et al., CH-310, 33). The D.O.E. offers 
students arguments that the system has corrective 
mechanisms to solve the major problems, and materials 
remind them constantly that the "individual freedom of 
choice is a central element of the American Free 
Enterprise System" (Goddard et al., CH-310, 13). 
Individuals theoretically may choose the goods they buy, 
the place and type of work they do, and the type of 
business they want to operate. Attendant problems, such 
as fraud, harmful products, and unsafe working 
conditions are remedied by adequate regulatory 
mechanisms like government agencies and competition. 
Students are told that "we do not believe that any group 
of experts or legislators can better make decisions 
about what will enhance the quality of our life as well 
as we can" (Goddard et al., CH-310, 34). 

What Social Studies Texts Teach 

Two often used social studies texts. Our American 
Government and Political System by Wit and 
Dionisopolous , and McClenaghan ' s Magruder's American 


Government , reflect the curricular content specified by 
the A.V.C. and Free Enterprise Acts. Fundamentals of 
the American Free Enterprise System by Hodgetts and 
Smart typifies a high school economics course. The 
political system, says Wit and Dionisopolous is " . . . 
the primary source of social control and collective 
action in the society in which it exists (20). Among a 
number of elements comprising the U.S. political 
economic systems are 1) popular sovereignty, where 
political decision-making ultimately rests with the 
whole population, 2) majority rule with a respect for 
minority rights, 3) the "rational man," who effects 
change through persuasion rather than force, 4) rights 
as outlined in the Bill of Rights and related documents, 
and 5) the need to keep the political/economic system 
intact ( 54-70 ) . 

Wit and Dionisopolous say that natural law and 
ideology shape the system. Law is a code of behavior 
given to humanity by God (80). Ideology is "good" or 
"moral" principles (609). These two writers compare and 
contrast democracy with the Fascist, Nazi, and Communist 
"dictatorships." Against the latter three, the U.S. 
must struggle. While Wit and Dionisopolous do maintain 
that democracy has problems, they say corrective 


processes, such as checks and balances, allow people to 
effect change. Dictatorships do not tolerate popular 
decision-making (562). 

Both Wit and Dionisopolous describe "Free 
Enterprise, " as a system having the " . . . high degree 
of individual freedom desired by most Americans (562). 
They term the prevailing economic system in the U.S. 
"free enterprise" but qualify "free" by saying the 
government regulates businesses. Two principles 
undergirding "free enterprise" are private property 
ownership and freedom to own and operate a business. 
Three additional features are profit motive, free 
market, and limited government intervention (566). 
Whenever economic activity becomes harmful to others, 
then the government regulates. Though they say the 
system is flexible enough to deal with problems, the 
authors question whether the system provides adequate 
economic security and alleviates economic suffering 
(592). Wit and Dionisopolous indicate that the U.S. 
"free-market system" is impressive, most compatible with 
democratic values, and is much better than what workers 
encounter in "a communist nation" (571). 

In Magruder's American Government, McClenaghan 
recognizes the greater sophistication of his post-Viet- 


Naiti audience, and is interested in resolving problems 
within the system through techniques such as conflict 
resolution. Despite the absence of the 1950s' style 
rhetoric, none of the basic suppositions that Wit and 
Dionisopolous make about the system are challenged 
seriously. Compared to other text writers, such as Wit, 
McClenaghan supports his views with more emotional 
means, such as nationalism and religion. 

He starts much like Wit and Dionisopolous in 
outlining the purposes of political and economic 
systems. Social systems, of which the State is a major 
element, make human survival possible by making and 
enforcing laws (6). "Democracy" is the form of 
government where "supreme political authority rests with 
the people," and power is maintained only by popular 
consent (11). The chief features of a "democracy" are 
the concept of basic individual worth and dignity, 
equality of persons before the law, majority rule and 
minority rights, a need for compromise, and individual 
freedom as listed in the Bill of Rights. These 
characteristics of a "democracy" define the U.S. social 
system and it is a primary function of our government to 
keep it intact. Therefore, our government must not allow 
a "non-democratic" system to predominate. 


McClenaghan continues on to say that democracy 
exists in this country because, as a people, we believe 
in the concepts upon which it is based. "It will 
continue to exist, and be improved in practice, only for 
so long as we continue to subscribe to--and practice-- 
those concepts" (12). In other words, people must live a 
lifestyle incorporating what they believe to be 
democracy if the U.S. system is not to collapse. Part 
of that life includes combating external threats. He 
states that external threats to the system exist and are 
mainly posed by the U.S.S.R., but he suggests that 
internal problems are solvable and less threatening. 
External threats exist, posed mainly by the Soviet 
Union. Problems do occur within the U.S. system, but 
McClenaghan says that, unlike in the U.S.S.R., they are 
solvable within the system using democratic processes 
(14) . 

He concedes that "free enterprise" as basically a 
private economy subsists only as a model system. The 
actuality is a mixed economy, one with major 
governmental intervention to smooth out business cycles 
and "curb abuses" (694-695). Because free enterprise 
" . . . provides a large segment of the population of the 
United States with one of the world's highest standards 


of living," McClenaghan says, "Most of the people of the 
United States believe that a well-regulated capitalistic 
systeiB--one of free choice, individual incentive, 
private enterprise--is the best guarantee of the better 
life for everyone," and accentuates that the people's 
belief sustains the system, making it democratic (695, 

Hodgetts and Smart, in Fundamentals of the American 
Free Enterprise System, says that "free enterprise" is 
characterized by private property, private enterprise, 
and freedom of choice. It rests upon the ideals 
cherished by many Americans, mainly ". . . democratic 
government, personal freedom and responsibility, respect 
for the law, and the dignity of the individual." The 
system ". . .is based upon American customs, laws, and 
institutions, and "it is a basic part of American 
civilization and our way of life" (6). Processes 
maintaining it are popular subscription and goal 
oriented behavior in the form of production and growth. 
Hodgetts and Smart echo the claim made by other texts 
and the D.O.E. material that capitalism has its problems 
but still provides the best means of solving economic 
problems . 


Few of the foregoing points made by the text 
writers are exceptional. It is in the implicit doctrines 
advocated indirectly by the D.O.E. that disturbing 
elements are to be found. While text writers do not 
stress that only a transcendental god is the author of 
rights, the D.O.E. suggests so when it refers students 
to the statement on Americanism (Florida State 65). 
Public ownership and/or control of the means of 
production should not be encouraged. Individuals and 
organizations should not promote actions designed to 
alter or replace the "free enterprise" system. Private 
nonproductive property must be preserved, as well as the 
private ownership of the means of production. Writers 
like McClenaghan say, "private enterprise is the best 
guarantee of the better life for everyone " (19), and 

the A.V.C. Act says that free enterprise is the best 
system on earth. 

Both text writers and the D.O.E. agree that under 
"free enterprise" individuals are afforded the rights 
and protection enumerated in the Bill of Rights and 
related law. This includes the right to dissent, 
minority rights, "dignity of the individual," and the 
right to choose when and where to work (Wit and 


Dionisopolous 32, McClenaghan 12-16, Goddard et al., CH- 
310, 13, Florida Statutes 233.064). 

Because free enterprise produces the highest 
standard of living in the world, other systems (those 
not promoting the above elements) are to be discouraged 
from flourishing both nationally and worldwide. People 
like McClenaghan say it, and the legislature agrees 
(McClenaghan 19, Florida Statutes 233.064). 

The "dignity of the individual" hinges upon the 
U.S. system's viability. Writers like Wit and 
McClenaghan argue this, and the D.O.E. concurs (Wit and 
Dionisopolous 54-70, McClenaghan 12, Florida State 3-4). 

Both the D.O.E. curricular material and the social 
studies texts claim that the U.S. system is superior to 
communism because in the former, a person is encouraged 
to criticize the government, and in the latter people 
are told what to do. The U.S. reputedly is a free 
country, where one can live a relatively unrestricted 
lifestyle, but in the U.S.S.R. people supposedly have a 
grim life filled with trepidation (McClenaghan 702-709, 
Goddard et al., CH-310, 13-14, Florida State passim). 
Yet, Florida students must take a program which 
discourages the favorable consideration of non- 
capitalistic systems and non-Western religious views. 


(Florida Statutes 233.09, 233.064). If maintaining the 
current D.O.E. program does not foster free expression 
and critical thinking, then whose interests are served? 
The next chapter answers this guestion. 


How The State Administers the D.O.E. Program 

Public and private institutions comprise an 
elaborate structural apparatus to implement the D.O.E. 
course program. Included are the legislature, the 
D.O.E., the individual county school systems, and 
private organizations. Both the Americanism versus 
Communism (A.V.C.) and the Free Enterprise and Consumer 
Education (F.E.C.E.) Acts are administered through the 
government, but private organizations also help run the 
F.E.C.E. program (Florida Revised Statutes 233.0641 and 
232.246). Some critics argue that a number of the 
private organizations form a corporate elite, "corporate 
Florida" (Mills 147-170, and Butcher passim). 

The Florida state legislature passes laws and has, 
through the budget, ultimate supervisory authority over 
the D.O.E. program. From the time the A.V.C. law was 
passed in 1961 to the present, the Florida legislature 
has been composed mainly of private employers, 
attorneys, and "educators." The majority of the workers 
in Florida and the families of students receiving the 



the economic instruction of the A.V.C. belong neither to 
these groups nor to the formal civil service 
bureaucracy. There is no mechanism provided for 
evaluation of the program nor for inviting discussion by 
those persons most directly affected. The classroom 
teacher, normally the source of variable points of view 
on questions of value, is provided a curriculum by 
D.O.E. which has little latitude for the introduction of 
teacher commentary. (Morris 19 et seg. , Bowles and 
Gintis 90, Florida Statistical Abstract 260 and 265). 

The school system bureaucracy merely implements 
what the legislature wants. Specific administrative 
measures, such as teacher contract enforcement, are 
enacted to carry out the laws {Florida Revised Statutes 
231.09). Advisory committees and the Secretary of 
Education oversee the details of how the program will be 
effected. The D.O.E. oversees the implementation of the 
policies by the school districts. School districts may 
create their own curriculum, but the D.O.E. sends in 
auditors every five years to determine whether the 
intent of the law is being met. In addition, students 
take examinations to assess mastery of the A.V.C. and 
F.E.C.E. material {Florida Revised Statutes 232.246(2)). 


There is a section in the 1983 Raise act called 
"Coordination of Vocational Education" assuring that 
vocational education would be part of the economic 
orientation {Florida Revised Statutes 232.246(14)). A 
bureaucratic apparatus consisting of regional 
coordinating councils is established to coordinate 
vocational training programs. Although the law 
stipulates that "outside" members of the coordinating 
councils will be composed of "bona fide trade and 
business organizations," the only control over the 
composition of the councils is the guarantee that at 
least one member shall be drawn from a "private industry 
council" {Florida Revised Statutes 2 32 . 2 4 6 ( 1 4 ) ( 3 ) ) . 
Nothing is mentioned about any member of a labor 
organization having to be on the council. 

The goals of the coordinating councils are to 1) 
"maximize effective student articulation" in vocational 
educational programs; 2) maintain effective connections 
with business and industry to meet the needs of the 
labor market; 3) coordinate governmental efforts at 
vocational education; 4) make vocational education cost- 
effective. State resources are to be made available to 
the Council and state cooperation is expected {Florida 
Revised Statutes 232.246(15)). No objective deals with 


any attempt to meet demands by students for particular 

How Businesses Implement the D.O.E. Program 

Chapter Two mentioned that the D.O.E. courses 
formed a part of a total political economic orientation 
program involving all students. Businesses promote the 
D.O.E. courses extensively, an unusual example of strong 
outside influence on classroom instruction, especially 
when the private aims of business can be affected by the 
result of the educational program. 

In 1948, the national office of the Joint Council 
on Economic Education was formed by business leaders to 
disseminate information about the U.S. economy. It was 
supposed to present a "non-partisan" explanation of the 
economy. In turn, various state branches were 
established, philosophically akin to the national 
organization. A private organization, the Florida 
Council on Economic Education (F.C.E.E.) was established 
to work in conjunction with the D.O.E. to create the 
curriculum for the free enterprise program. 

Its objectives are "increasing the level of 
economic literacy in Florida as well as an appreciation 
for our American Economic System." The F.C.E.E. claims 


that it wants to teach students "how to think, NOT what 
to think" while providing economic reasoning skills 
concerning "fundamental issues and problems," 
institutions, and major concepts needed for the "kind of 
economic knowledge a person needs in order to function 
as a citizen, worker, and consumer in the American 
Economic System" (F.C.E.E. Annual Report 3). 

An F.C.E.E. publication, "WHY? The Free Enterprise 
Development Fund," tempers this ostensibly neutral 
objective by saying that free enterprise is being 
introduced in all of Florida's schools at all levels, 
"not as a separate subject, but as an integral part of 
basic disciplines ranging from reading and math to art 
and history," with the program being made "available to 
adults in every community." This program uses a total 
approach that every aspect of a student's life will be 
touched, from economics to history and even art. That 
is, "the impact of the Free Enterprise American Way in 
our state will continue in our educational system." The 
Florida Council says that "the American Free Enterprise 
System is not a theory, it is a way of life" ("Free 
Enterprise System" is capitalized in the original 
text ) (Florida Council, Why?). 


Persons and organizations not elected and 
unconnected with the school districts have achieved 
unusual control of the curriculum. That this power was 
given rather than sought does not change the power they 
hold. The F.C.E.E. gives mini-grants to school districts 
to help develop the free enterprise act curriculum, but 
the University of Florida has done most of the overall 
course program development. In conjunction with the 
grants, the Developmental Economic Education Program 
(D.E.E.P.) is, in F.C.E.E. 's words, "a K-12 curriculum 
project," giving materials and resources to school 
districts for course planning around the F.E.C.E. Act. 
Such includes teacher training programs, a library of 
materials, and consultant time (F.C.E.E. Annual Report^ 
1981-1982, 6). 

In the University of Florida's case, the F.C.E.E. 
received a $250,000 grant from the state in 1982 to help 
the university prepare the curriculum materials 
(F.C.E.E. Annual Report, 13). Aside from the F.C.E.E. 
itself, there exist under its aegis some eight 
University Centers for Economic Education, each 
developing curriculum materials for the free enterprise 
act. It is the University of Florida's program that 
provides the most complete and representative sample of 


the type of curriculum one will see emerging from the 
D.O.E. program (Annual Report, 1981-1982 7-8). The 
course program, as seen above, is established by forces 
representing organizations which occupy dominant 
positions in the economy and which would be threatened 
by a major change in the system. 

Persons serving on the various boards and councils, 
like the organizations from which they are drawn, are an 
elite minority with a vested interest in the status quo. 
There pretense that these people are the agents of 
democratic interest in the schools because they are not 
representative. As for the F.C.E.E. the 34 member Board 
of Trustees in 1981-1982 consisted of two attorneys, 
eight school system bureaucrats, and 23 officers of 
corporations. Only one union was represented, by the 
president of the Florida A.F.L.-C. I .0. There was only 
one woman, and there were no blacks. Except for only 
four individuals, the rest of the published list of 
contributors was made up of major corporations (Annual 
Report 9-12). Corporations form a larger economic 
structure maintaining entrenched and greatly skewed 
wealth at both the national and state levels (Petersen, 
Greever, North American Congress on Latin America, 
Domhoff, Mills 292-297, Butcher). 


The Florida Council represents only a part of the 
economic power structure seeking to preserve "free 
enterprise" through both public and private agencies. 
Since the mid-1970s, the Florida Council of 100 has had 
major input on state governmental policy. High state 
governmental policy-makers frequently consult the 
Council before arriving at decisions. This body consist 
of numerous corporation heads, prominent attorneys, 
members of the Board of Regents, and high level 
bureaucrats. No labor organizations are represented. 
Neither are any women. The chairman, vice-chairman, 
secretary, and numerous other members of the Florida 
Council on Economic Education are members of the Council 
of 100 (F.C.E.E. Annual Report) . 

Of immediate significance to the D.O.E. program is 
how much influence business has over the course content 
in the public schools. It is not necessary to prove any 
recommendation any business group makes is biased or the 
result of collusion. Business's interests are so clearly 
associated with the status quo that their supervision of 
the educational process (which must necessarily change 
and evolve) is suspect before it takes place. 

One could expect that the businessperson benefiting 
from the present political economy would promote and 


support the D.O.E. courses. It is said that the A.V.C. 
program is needed to teach students about the 
"fallacies" of communism. Yet, failing to balance the 
criticisms with the many serious contradictions in the 
U.S. system does not mean that the F.C.E..E. is teaching 
students "how to think, NOT what to think (F.C.E.E. 
Annual Report). Combating "communism" and teaching that 
"free enterprise" is the best in the world suggest that 
students accept the regime in power. 

From the viewpoint of keeping the system stable, 
the D.O.E. 's curriculum requirement is a calculated 
action and not an unusual one insofar as a public school 
social studies program goes. Students have the potential 
for becoming sophisticated by comparing systems in a 
balanced fashion. Florida's D.O.E. wants to avoid that 
risk of developing a critical population when it 
indoctrinates students with an unflinching loyalty to 
the established order. Unquestioning approval and love 
do not necessarily imply each other. Teaching a love for 
one's country also means teaching civic responsibility, 
and that emerges only by teaching that the citizenry can 
and should freely criticize a country's 
institutions . 



The ideals espoused by the legislature have 
democratic decision-making and the free enterprise 
economy strongly linked. In this instance of the way the 
D.O.E. curriculum is assembled, the decisions are made 
in an undemocratic manner, and key persons who would 
benefit from programs in critical thinking are not 
affected. A well-formed apparatus outside a 
democratically elected legislature is implementing a 
curriculum that allows students only to put the "right" 
answer on a D.O.E. exam. That the students must give 
"right" answers suggests that while the D.O.E. attacks 
communism for being ideological, the A.V.C. and F.E.C.E. 
acts are egually so, a guestion examined in the next 
chapter . 


The Issue of Ideology 

D.O.E. 's Americanism versus Communism and Free 
Enterprise courses constitute an indoctrination program. 

Students cannot seriously challenge the intent and 
content without risking failure. The curriculum is 
inflexible; teachers must show that the U.S. has the 
best system of economics in the world. The problem of 
course content is raised when A.V.C. legislation says 
that schools should "instill in the minds of the 
students" the "evils" of communism and make them 
understand that the U.S. "free enterprise" economy is 
better "than any other system of economics on earth" 
{Florida Revised Statutes 233.064). This indoctrination 
is administered through the advice of a network of 
nonelective boards and councils who have a vested 
interest in resistance to change. 

A D.O.E. handbook, A Resource Unit: Americanism 

versus Communism^ says that in the Soviet Union a small 
group of communist party members "does all the thinking" 
and that "all individual opinions must conform to the 



'Party Line'" (Florida State 35). Yet, the D.O.E. is 
doing the same thing it is accusing the Communists of 
doing, force-feeding a political economic doctrine. One 
major reason for creating the A.V.C. course was that 
legislators feared young people would not recognize that 
communist beliefs were faulty, and their solution was to 
tell students so (Florida State 18). Parallels can be 
drawn between the denunciation of capitalism in Soviet 
classrooms and lectures on the evils of communism in the 
D.O.E. program. In the formulation of the Florida 
program, there must have been a recognition of the 
similarities so that it was felt necessary to prove 
differentiation by saying that "philosophy" is superior 
to "ideology." Yet, while the framers of the curriculum 
set out with the best of intent to encourage students to 
think critically, they ended with a program consisting 
of elements they said they feared. 

The D.O.E. says, "Ideology is a set of ideas 
developed in a logical order on the basis of 
preconceived notions which its adherents do not consider 
open to criticism or even question." Ideology's opposite 
is philosophy, "an attempt to approach the truth in 
which basic assumptions may be questioned and critically 
examined." (Florida State 18) Whether an idea can be 


criticized--that is, subjected to critical thinking — 
separates ideology from philosophy. Teaching students to 
prefer philosophy over ideology, so the D.O.E. thinking 
goes, will help the student to reject communism. The 
D.O.E. wants the young to learn that the ideology of the 
Communist Party "provides the communist with a false 
belief about reality and that it advances the ideology 
through rigid school programs not open to guestion" 
(Florida State 34). 

The D.O.E. makes much of the need to teach 
"philosophy" in the schools in order to help students 
understand the weakness and error of ideology. Some 
consideration of the identification of these terms in 
educational settings is in order. 

How the D.O.E. Defines Ideology 

Gerhart Niemeyer, the A.V.C. program's chief 
architect, came to the cold war with impressive 
credentials, and it is to his writings one turns for the 
philosophy shaping the D.O.E. program. He was very much 
a part of the prevailing political order, as his anti- 
communist credentials included teaching "graduate 
courses on Communist ideology" at prestigious 


Communist ideology 


universities like Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, being a 
Planning Advisor with the State Department, a research 
analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, and 
member of the resident faculty at the U.S. War College 
(U.S. Congress, H.C.U.A. 14). 

Niemeyer says that ideology means the total 
rejection of any society based upon "subordination of 
contemplative theory" and the adoption of dogmatically 
willed positions. Philosophy "connotes theory, 
contemplation born of the love of truth" (Niemeyer, 
Between Nothingness and Paradise 142). 

Ideologies, Niemeyer asserts, have assumed a number 
of characteristics: 

1) they are total critiques of society; the whole 
existing order must be overturned so it can be replaced 
by a new one. Ideologies prescribe as well as describe; 

2) all previous phases of society in history are 
rejected in favor of the projected or prescribed one; 

3) ideologies claim that reason and logic 
substantiate the argument in favor if ideology; 

4) revolution and other events resulting in the 
ideology's predominance occur as a result of natural 
processes rather than being forced into history by 
humans ; 


5) understanding the natural processes by which the 
ideological goal is reached requires "a specific and 
secret knowledge made manifest by the thinker as 
messenger . 

Once the masses obtain the secret knowledge from 
the ones who know, the old social order will fall. 
(Niemeyer, Between 42-43). F) 

With the advent of Marx and Engels, Niemeyer says 
ideology assumed additional characteristics: 

1) history results from natural processes or stages; 

2) besides laws of change, there is an ultimate goal 
where humanity attains a life with greater value; 

3) by pitting the ideal future against the past, 
the ideologues say that humanity has no desire to 
identify with the past; 

4) the ideological goal is not embodied in one 

person or group but, rather it stands as something 

obtainable only by humanity acting collectively. 
(Niemeyer, Between 74-75). 

The common thread of Niemeyer 's characterizations 
of ideology is that a collectivity, once made conscious 
of its conditions by information from one or a small 

group of individuals, completely supplants the old order 
with a new one as a result of naturally occurring 


processes. Overturning of tradition worries Niemeyer, as 
evidenced by his repeated denunciation of ideology for 
rejecting the past (Niemeyer, Between 81-83). 

Revolutionary changes are radical breaks with 
tradition, and they are a most potent form of social 
criticism. Often, leaders (usually intellectuals) of 
major social movements have carefully-thought-out views 
expressing sentiments widely held by the general 
population. Despite Niemeyer 's claims, the details of 
revolutionary ideas are not usually secret, but the 
intellectuals holding them are in the minority because 
formal education usually is beyond the economic means of 
the average person. If the ideas are not subject to 
criticism, however, the integrity of the intellectual is 
at stake. 

Niemeyer is preoccupied with the threat of ideology 
to "the past"--i.e., to traditional systems--so much so 
that he tends to slide into the error of seeing any 
challenge to traditional as ideological. Critical 
thinking about any social system is in fact a kind of 
challenge . 


What Mainstream Writers Say About Ideology 

"Ideology" was a word first used by Antoine Louis 
Clause Destutt de Tracy on 23 May 1797 in proposing a 
new science of ideas before the French National 
Institute of Arts and Sciences. By systematizing ideas 
into an ideology, he claimed, the mysticism of the past 
could be supplanted by reason. All of society's wrongs 
could be eliminated by restructuring the school system 
in order to institute an education founded upon the new 
rational method of understanding called "ideology." 
People's beliefs could be put into a well-defined order 
and treated as a logical system, thereby mitigating 
disagreements about the way a society was to be run 
(Mannheim 71). 

Both the French and American revolutions, along 
with numerous other social upheavals, emphasized the 
importance of idea systems in dealing with increasingly 
structured and urbanized societies. Karl Marx and 
Frederick Engels reinforced that importance in agreeing 
with de Tracy by calling belief systems ideologies, but 
went further by arguing that ruling classes used 
ideology to instill a false consciousness in the masses 
(Marx 25, 79). Marx and Engels held that the bourgeois 


ideology, in particular, did not accurately describe 
society. The dominant ideology was that of the ruling 
class, and the bourgeois ruling class had described 
society in a way that satisfied its own needs. Those 
people who make the major decisions about how society is 
to be run propound the dominant ideas, or, as stated by 
Marx and Engels, "the ideas of the ruling class are in 
every epoch the ruling ideas" (Marx 47). Marx and Engels 
argued that it is an illusion to think that these 
dominant ideas can never change, for people can always 
opt for revolution. Often, the ruling ideas are 
"expressed as an eternal law," or as morality and rights 
(Marx 47). For Marx and Engels, the tool of ideology is 
usually biased, while for de Tracy, it is a technigue to 
describe actuality. 

Karl Mannheim in Ideology and Utopia says that 
ideology is a set of ideas imposed upon a society by the 
ruling class and is, to a certain extent, illusory 
(Mannheim 8, 193). Ideology reflects a person's class 
status, as well as his discontent with society. These 
belief systems may admit to social discontent but often 
attribute false reasons for it. Often the ruling class 
will lay the blame for social problems on things 
entirely distinct from the actual causes. When a person 


holds ideas which prevent effective action, the belief 
system constitutes an ideology (Mannheim 194). 
Otherwise, if the person can act effectively within 
society (political participation, interacting with 
social institutions, etc.) in spite of the ideas, the 
idea system is a utopia (Mannheim 204). 

For Mannheim, ideology is reactionary because 
people cannot effectively express their social 
aspirations. Reality is always changing, and a person 
can easily become ideological by not changing with that 
reality. Utopian or ideological, ideas do not accurately 
portray reality because the people holding them are 
biased. Other writers, discussed below, substantiate 
Mannheim by saying that ideology hinders change, blocks 
understanding, and reinforces the traditionalism favored 
by Niemeyer (Ries 290, Harrington 348-349, Hodges 377). 

Lewis Fuer calls ideologies "works of presumption. 
An ideology," he says, "projects wish fulfillments where 
knowledge is unavailable." It is "an attempt ... to 
impose one's political will upon the nature of the 
universe" (Fuer 64). Daniel Bell refers to ideology as 
"a secular religion . . . the conversion of social ideas 
into levers. It is the commitment to the consequences of 
ideas" (Bell 96). Ideologies ask one "to accept a 


reading of events." Ideologies do not contain knowledge 
of events "but their 'true' meaning." In this sense, 
ideologies, says Irving Kristol, "are religions of a 
sort" (Kristol 108). To Raymond Ries, ideology is "the 
insistence that knowledge of society must act as an 
instrument of social change. It is something to believe 
in . . . analogous to religious commitment." (Ries 283) 
For another writer, "Ideology consists both of that form 
of consciousness and also of that way of interpreting 
and understanding the world, which justifies or 
maintains specific relations of power" (Lilienfeld 260). 

Not all persons hold the view that ideology is 
undesirable. C. Wright Mills, Robert Haber, and Michael 
Harrington see the value of an ideology as a way of 
clarifying political issues and motivating people to act 
for social change (Mills 131, Haber 186, Harrington 
342). As a type of compromise between ideology as an 
inhibition to human understanding and as a neutral way 
of analyzing social phenomenon, Maurice Cornforth views 
ideology as being a useful expression of a "profound 
impulse to development." However, as a class takes 
power, the ideology becomes conservative, then 
reactionary, and ultimately deleterious to human 
development (Cornforth 91-92). While these last four 


views take de Tracy's positive approach to ideology, 
none of these writers would favor ideology if it was 
used to stifle understanding and an improvement of 

All these writers agree that ideology is at least a 
system of ideas about a social situation. However, Marx, 
Engels, and especially Mannheim provide the foundation 
for the view held by many modern writers that an 
ideology is a non-critical way of thinking. For example, 
Donald Clark Hodges holds that ideology "can be 
identified with the more or less conscious deceptions 
and disguises of human interest groups" (Hodges 374). 
While people disagree about the detailed characteristics 
of ideology and what roles it should play, most view 
ideology as a pejorative name for a set of ideas held by 
someone with a closed or uncritical mind. 

On the surface, Niemeyer rejects ideology because 
of its close-minded approach, a view not especially 
unique or significantly deviant from the other writers 
Marx clarifies these concerns by stating that ideology 
is a false consciousness when reality changes and 
thinking about it does not. If anything, it is ironic 
that this aspect of Niemeyer 's position on ideology is 
more like that of Marx in that holding rigidly set ideas 


is counterproductive to understanding how society 
functions. In other words, the worst feature of ideology 
is that it obstructs clear thinking. Non-critical 
thinking and rigid bias are the two senses of ideology 
that Niemeyer presumably dislikes, and Marx's criticisms 
of ideology are grounded in the failure to assess 
critically one's biased thinking about political 
economies . 

Niemeyer faults the ideologues for grounding their 
system of beliefs in a logic void of critical thinking. 
While he says ideology is dogmatic, his 
characterization and real objection to it centers about 
people behaving normally by rejecting what has been done 
to them in the past and opting for a change. For its 
part, the D.O.E. claims to favor critical thinking. A 
discrepancy exists between advocating critical thinking 
and promoting the D.O.E. indoctrination program to 
preserve traditional economic systems. A great deal of 
critical thought went into shaping the rationale for the 
D.O.E. program, but that thought was shaped within the 
confines of a rigid conservative philosophy. The next 
chapter demonstrates how this philosophy allows the 
D.O.E. to espouse critical thinking as superior to 
ideology and still defend the indoctrination program. 


Niemeyer's Philosophy 

Many public school social studies curricula are 
ideological. That, in itself, is not very interesting. 
What elicits concern is the pragmatic and philosophic 
reasons explaining why the ideologues want to install 
their agenda. Frank S. Meyer, an author appearing on the 
A.V.C. book list, says that the importance of ideology 
lies not so much with its content as with the attempt to 
change a social order with that content (Meyer 
"Consensus" 230-231). Reinforcing their program is the 
fact the average workplace, where so many people spend 
over half their waking hours, can be described as 
authoritarian and even worse oppressive. By what they 
say and the nature of their position those controlling 
the workplace and other key segments of the economy have 
a practical reason for favoring ideology. Without 
critical thinking workers are more docile and yielding 
to the demands of bosses. The less apparent philosophy 
bespeaks a special brand of conservatism underscoring 
the D.O.E. ideology justifying the U.S. system. 



Gerhart Niemeyer's conservative thinking permeates 
the rationale for the curriculum, and he is transparent 
about the society he would like to see. While the 
architect of the original D.O.E. program, he expressed 
his principal motive for opposing communism and 
establishing a new order in Facts on Communism prepared 
by the defunct H.U.A.C. and forming part of the A.V.C. 
curriculum bibliography. Niemeyer says that communism 
is held out " . . . for many who want something to 
replace the notion of Providence and divine judgment" 
(U.S. Congress, H.C.U.A. 128). The core of his attack on 
communism is that "the rejection of religion is thus the 
very essence of Communist thinking" (U.S. Congress, 
H.C.U.A. 133). This doctrine is entirely consistent 
with and made relevant for close examination by the 
Americanist doctrine which "recognizes the existence of 
a God and the all-important fact that the fundam.ental 
rights of man are derived from God and not from any 
other source" (U.S. Congress, H.C.U.A. 65). Human beings 
do not accord themselves fundamental rights either by 
democratic elections or revolution. 

Niemeyer also rejects communism because "It . . . 
means the explanation of all things and happenings in 
terms of a supposedly ultimately material reality (U.S. 


Congress, H.C.U.A. 127). Underlying this objection is 
the rejection of materialism, itself, for it is " . . . 
the deliberate rejection of God. Rejecting God means 
rejecting the idea that the material world is the 
creation of a divine spirit (U.S. Congress, H.C.U.A. 
125). Niemeyer discusses both political and religious 
instruments for bringing about a society based upon this 

He makes clear who should run society and what they 
should do. In Law Without Force he states that the 
chief ends of a political entity are to "struggle for 
the definition of . . . ends" (Niemeyer, Law 125). While 
many views always exist in a society, "the group which 
is agreed upon the prevailing definition of the State's 
ends does not embrace more than a section, possibly 
only a minority, of the entire 'membership' of the 
organization" {Law 121). The "unity of common aims among 
the persons of that dominating group . . . makes an 
organization of social coordination possible." 
Political organizations coalesce around a prevailing 
definition of functional ends, and the definition set by 
the dominating group in the organization "represents in 
some way the entire 'membership' because it provides 


the concrete formulation of the ends of State functions, 
without which no organization could operate at all" 

(Law 122 ) . 

As to those functions, Nieraeyer says that "politics 
coordinates behavior, not lives; it brings forth 
collective action, not collective culture; its unity is 
one of function, not of being. Politics is performance, 
not existence" (Niemeyer, Law 127). The "... behavior 
that corresponds to the scheme of order must not only be 
decided upon, but also must actually be provoked and 
arranged for by practical acts and personal contact." A 
greater spiritual and social homogeneity facilitates a 
people's understanding of aims of the political 
institution. There ". . . must be some community of 
intention in a collectivity, if there is to be an 
organization" (Law 128-130). 

The chief difference between the polity that 
Niemeyer envisions and the ones created by Hitler and 
Mussolini is that, in the former, the political 
organization acts upon a community's preconceived ideas, 
whereas in the latter, the State sets the reasons for 
which the State operates. In the former, the uniformity 
of purpose is present; in the latter, the State imposes 
the uniformity of purpose (Niemeyer, Law 131). The way 


people regard the nature of human existence comprises 
the scheme of order acted upon by political 
organizations. Achieving that unity of purpose and 
scheme of order is left to another device--religion . He 
introduces this instrument first by reiterating his 
disassociation from others having designs for a unified 
social order and then by substituting a metaphysics 
rooted in classical philosophy. 

Niemeyer, in Between Nothingness and Paradise, 
reiterates his criticism of totalitarian ideologies and 
communism for reputedly not wanting to preserve anything 
of the past or present (Niemeyer, Between 136-140). He 
then outlines his "Ethics of Existence" that provides 
the common purpose to be orchestrated by the State. 
Conservatives want to preserve the past, and, as 
Niemeyer says, "A political community abides in time, 
stabilizing the samene s s of truth in the flux of 
temporal vicissitudes and thus, as we have seen, 
'imitating eternity'" (183). "Eternity," the reader is 
told, means "participation in the divine ground" (184). 
As reflected by the Declaration of Independence's words 
"We hold these truths to be self evident" (189-191). 
Myth, ". . . any set of symbols through which a 
multitude of people, living together, symbolically 


secure the transparency of life and awareness of 
participation in the divine ground," holds the polity 
together. Niemeyer then justifies an authoritarian 
order by indicating that critical thinking would destroy 
the polity. 

He states that the average American is "uncritical 
in the ways of myths;" without myth, there would prevail 
"the universal assumption of hostility," that is, 
anarchy (Niemeyer, Between 191). People bear a myth and 
"serve as the organ of representation of the public 
truth which is what gives authority to the vox populi." 
The public truth is subject to "laws of vitality" that 
"pertain to the area of complex tensions between 
consciousness and the divine ground, psyche and nous, 
and to the general relation of things mutable to 
eternity ( 193 ) . 

Quoting Aristotle, Niemeyer says the nous is "the 
best part of us . . . whether it is itself divine, or 
the most divine thing in us" and is "the source of order 
through the participation in the divine ground . . . " 
(Niemeyer 195). The edifice of political order, says 
Niemeyer, rests upon Aristotle's notion of friendship as 
related to "noetic consciousness of participation in the 
divine ground" (196). A person constantly thinking 


critically about the prevailing myths, divine order, and 
so forth would be seriously out of place in Nieraeyer's 
ideal society. 

Human beings, so that life will be attractive, must 
recognize that unity is composed of the rational and the 
irrational and balance the two. A "vital power" 
sustains the "psychology of memories, mutual 
attractions, unified feelings, and hopeful impulses." 
The intellectual element of friendship is "the 
consciousness of a higher ineffability through which man 
is rightly ordered." To have a political community 
everyone must be equal in that their souls are "open to 
the divine and, for the sake of the divine, open to 
those who are equal." Carrying the critique of critical 
thinking further, he says that political aspirations 
mean that "friendship cements an entity of political 
existence and engenders the wish to preserve it, 
'whatever it may be.'" Sustaining a political tradition 
is "homonoia, the capacity to be of the same mind, which 
renders possible the making of laws and taking action in 
history" (Niemeyer Between 197). Niemeyer is very clear 
about what that same mind focuses upon. 

He sympathizes with Aristotle in saying that ethics 
means centering ". . . man's orientation towards the 


divine and love of that in man which is closest to God 
and through which men participate in the order of being 
(Niemeyer, Between 198). This consciousness of the 
divine is the highest political value, followed by group 
preservation, similar judgments and attitudes, and 
finally, "the enjoyment of common existence" (198). 
Niemeyer vehemently deplores modern religion ( "modern 
civil theologies") for de-emphasizing "human 
participation in the divine." These theologies merely 
give ideological postulates and propositions that 
"totally lack the existential virtues of friendship, 
communal solidarity, and public goodwill" (200). 

In these writings, Niemeyer argues for a State 
which is the instrument of a common theological purpose. 
Every action, every thought, every appearance, if not in 
accordance with the ruling theocrat's idea of "divine 
participation" is inimical to the well-being of the 
polity. Niemeyer says without qualification that every 
"individual soul . . . knows the tension of the person 
towards God, and of the soul as the 'sensorium of 
transcendence'," meaning that he does not acknowledge 
persons not recognizing a god (atheists) and those not 
agreeing with the notion of a transcendent entity 
(Niemeyer, Between 192). 


When the legislature says school teachers shall 
practice "every Christian virtue," non-Christian 
teachers, such as Moslems, Jews, or atheists, would be 
violating the law by refusing to abide by that 
theocratic mandate (Florida Revised Statutes 233.09). 
Yet, to Niemeyer, the legislature would be "righteous" 
because it requires the teachers to participate in his 
"divine ground" of being by teaching Christian virtues. 
The extant A.V.C. law evidences the Florida 

legislature's support for Niemeyer 's claim that "people 
are uncritical in the ways of myths" and that the State 
should coordinate the behavior of individuals. 

Despite his apparent wish that everyone should 
march lockstep in pursuing a divine order, Niemeyer does 
not characterize his view of an ideal polity as a 
totalitarian theocracy. His avowed staunch opposition 
to ideology, advocacy of philosophy in the A.V.C. 
program, and subscription to Aristotelian ethics might 
lead one to believe that he would be comfortable with 
Athenian democracy insofar as having everyone equally 
participating in a divine order of being is concerned. 
Yet, Niemeyer avoids using the word "democracy" in 
reference to Athens or in his recommendations for an ideal 
society, while other conservatives freely use it. 


A discussion of democracy is useful in 
understanding why Niemeyer really argues for 
authoritarianism while claiming to support critical 
thinking in the D.O.E. program and why other 
conservatives with views similar to Niemeyer 's argue for 
democracy. The opposite of an authoritarian workplace 
is a democratic one, and effective workplace democracy 
means practicing critical thinking. That is so if 
democracy means each individual should participate in 
deciding how society should be run and if effective 
participation means the individual must be-well informed 
and willing to keep an open or critical mind. The way 
conservatives qualify their use of the word "democracy" 
shows how they view the workplace and justify the current 

Classical Foundations of the D.O.E. Ideology 

Both the D.O.E. 's political A.V.C. and economic 
F.E.A. curricula emanate from Niemeyer's philosophy 
about why societies exist and who should decide 
policies. To elucidate this statement, it helps to 

discuss how the D.O.E. ideologues characterize the U.S. 
system. Behind the words they use lies the philosophy 


that goes into shaping the indoctrination program. The 
D.O.E. economic material refers to the U.S. as 
"capitalistic" or "free enterprise," that is, reflecting 
the classical liberal economics of the writings of John 
Locke . 

However, the philosophy of the economic system is 
further clarified by the manner in which the ideologues 
say people should behave politically. Niemeyer 
concentrates heavily on Aristotelian ethics without 
mentioning democracy. D.O.E. ideologues are ambivalent 
about using the word, and how they discuss it suggests a 
starting point for discussing the philosophy of the 
D.O.E. ideology. 

The D.O.E. itself conspicuously minimizes its 
references to democracy. Frank S. Meyer, a conservative 
author on the A.V.C. reading list, says that the 
"Liberal's faith is in 'democracy'" and insists upon 
calling the U.S. only a republic (Meyer, "Consensus" 
230). Others on that list, like J. Edgar Hoover, 
interrupt this trend by frequently referring to the U.S. 
system as a democracy (Hoover 320). Communism is 
contrasted in the A.V.C. law not to "democracy" but to 
the "principles of Constitutional Governmient ... as 
epitomized in its National Constitution (Florida 


Statutes 233.064(a)). The Declaration of Independence 
and Constitution use "Republic" but not "democracy." 

One theoretically may find "democratic processes" 
within Americanism, but Americanism, itself, is not 
necessarily considered democratic by the conservatives 
involved in formulating the D.O.E. program. 

Only when one examines the social studies texts on 
the D.O.E. adopted textbook list do the copious 
references to "democracy" appear. Magruder ' s American 
Government is a widely used text both nationwide and in 
Florida (McClenaghan ) . Besides discussing direct 
democracy and representative democracy, the text 
mentions the debate between those who claim that the 
United States is a republic rather than a democracy. In 
a republic, those in power are representatives of the 
people as electorate. People in democracy decide issues 
directly. As used by Magruder and "To most Americans 
the terms democracy, republic, representative democracy, 
and republican form of government generally mean the 
same thing" (McClenaghan 28). 

Democracy and republic are philosophically 
different, and while conservatives disagree about when 
to use the terms they are united in supporting the 
D.O.E. doctrine when it comes to the participation in 


Niemeyer's divine order. One writer on the A.V.C. book 
list calls it an "organic moral order" but governed by 
people "subject to the effects of original sin" (Meyer 
"Consensus" 14-16). This unity of support despite the 
division over theory is clarified, first, by exploring 
the classical democracy and republic, second, with the 
views of several conservative writers on the D.O.E. 
A.V.C. bibliography, and, third by what other 
conservatives say about the nature of democracy. 

In describing the classical republic, Plato says 
tyranny emanates from democracy and warring among 
economic classes. Only if ruling people possess virtue 
can it thrive in the State. Rulers acquire the ability 
to rule by education and intense preparation. Training 
the guardians of the State must begin from youth and 
culminate with leaders endowed with the philosophical 
perspective and ability to guide society smoothly (Plato 
564b) . The common person does not have a role in 
running the affairs of state. Each person in society is 
consigned his or her work in accordance with training 
and background. 

Aristotle mentions five types of democracy: one 
based on strict equal ity--the poor having the same 
advantages as the rich and everyone sharing power in the 


government; another where magistrates are elected 
according to minimal property qualifications; a third 
which requires that the law be supreme over the citizens 
who share equal power in the government; a fourth, where 
admission to the government occurs only if one is a 
citizen and is subject to the law, and, finally, one 
where the majority rules in all respects and rules by 
decree (Aristotle 1291b 30 to 1292b 38). The type to be 
emphasized depends upon the aims of the State. 

People band together in a community, or 
constitution (the partnership being the State), which 
must work its way to perfection, or, in Niemeyer's 
sense, participate in the divine ground of being. A 
state's purpose is for the "good life," making sure that 
citizens do not do injustice to each other and promoting 
virtue (Aristotle 1880a). When every member of the 
community, that is, every citizen, practices virtue, 
then the whole State can be perfect (virtue being every 
individual doing the best he can) ( 1276b 30). This is 
not unlike Niemeyer's saying that the State coordinates 
the people's behavior. Upon Aristotle's notion of who 
can be virtuous and be a citizen hinges the real meaning 
of classical democracy, a democracy quite compatible 
with that promoted by the D.O.E. program*. 


Aristotle in Politics says, "He who has the power 
to take part in the deliberative or judicial 
administration of any state is said by us to be a 


of that 

state" (1275b 


The virtues of a 


are to be 

capable of 


and obeying "like a 

freeman . 

" Not all people 



citizens, for "we 



all those 



citizens who are 

necessary to the 




state" (1278a 2 ) . 

"The necessary people are either slaves who minister to 
the wants of individuals, or mechanics and laborers who 
are the servants of the community" (1278a 7-10). To be 
a citizen in a democracy one must be virtuous, but 
Aristotle says, "No man can practice virtue who is 
living the life of a mechanic or laborer" (1278a 20). 

Citizenship and the opportunity to attain power 
were functions of class status. If one argues that the 
present political system is rooted in Aristotle's 
concepts of democracy, it is understandable why wage 
workers are barred from policymaking positions as they 
do not constitute a proportionate part of Florida's 
legislature. Niemeyer is not arguing for democracy and 
is not saying that people should not be disenfranchised 
because of a tenet of classical democratic theory. His 


concept of a person's role in society is founded in a 
special type social cohesion centered about a theocratic 
purpose . 

Nieineyer faults Athens not for barring workers from 
the political process but by saying that Socrates 
demonstrated " . . . that not man but God is the 
measure of human thoughts and actions" and . . that 
political order is a matter not of wealth and success 
but of participation in the order of being as well as 
participation in the concrete reality of Athens," 
Socrates was "admonishing Athens in the name of God" to 
"return to the divine ground of being . . ." (Niem^eyer, 
Between 213). Like Plato and Aristotle, Niemeyer does 
not see the average person as inherently fit to govern, 
and neither a republic nor a democracy is enough to 
sustain his ideal of universal participation in a divine 
ground of being. Socrates' criticism forms the basis of 
what Niemeyer and other like-minded conservatives want. 

Alexis de Toqueville, the often-quoted critic of 
democracy from the last century, articulates many of the 
conservative ideas shaping the thinking behind the 
D.O.E. program. De Toqueville states ". . . if a 
democratic republic . . . had. . . sunk deep into the 
habits and laws of the people ... a more insufferable 


despotism would (not) prevail ... in any of the 
absolute monarchies of Europe" ( de Toqueville 123). 
Democracy requires a thoughtful population, but he says 
that "studies of this nature (of philosophy) are far 
above the average capacity of men" (150). Views like 
these, coupled with Niemeyer's assertions that people 
are "uncritical in the ways of myths," help show the 
anti-critical nature of the D.O.E. program. 

The Authoritarian Basis of the D.O.E. Program 

De Toqueville said, "Fixed ideas about God and 
human nature are indispensable to the daily practice of 
men's lives." Religion is necessary because it 
justifies the system and establishes the principle of 
authority. "When the religion of a people is destroyed, 
doubt gets hold of the higher powers of the intellect 
and half paralyzes all the others" (de Toqueville 150- 
151). People are not philosophically sophisticated and 
de Toqueville's statement would justify Niemeyer's 
argument that a humans being's main function in society 
is to participate in a divine order of being rather than 
to create his own well-thought-out order. Niemeyer 
states, "Man's nature, created good, has been vitiated 


by his sinful opposition to the Creator . . . the 

resulting distortions of body, mind, emotions and soul 
. . . impart ... a yearning, a return to God" (Niemeyer 
Between 218). D.O.E. reflects Niemeyer's view that 
humanity depends upon religion by saying that the 

principle of 

human dignity comes 


"a living 


merciful God 

" (Florida State 2) 


that love 


respect for 

one's country comes 


" children 


teachers engage in daily Bible reading" (5). J. Edgar 
Hoover in Masters of Deceit, on the A.V.C. book list, 
said that "The very essence of our faith in democracy 
is rooted in a belief in a Supreme Being" (Hoover 320). 
Religious dogma stands behind the authoritarian 
character of the conservative views of the State and the 
D.O.E. program, itself. 

Frank S. Meyer, also on A.V.C. book list, faults 
the libertarian (a type of conservative, according to 
Meyer) for the "confusion of the temporal with the 
transcendental" in that he could not distinguish between 
the human authority that suppresses freedom and "the 
authority of God and truth." (emphasis included) 
Nineteenth century conservatives, while "They respected 
the authority of God and of truth," gave human 
institutions "the sacred aura of divine authority." 


Classical liberals were not aware of "the reality of 
original sin" and looked to the state to promote virtue. 
Collectivism challenges a person's "transcendent dignity 
. . . and common faith" (Meyer, "The Common Cause" 16- 
19). All conservatives, says Meyer, accept implicitly 
or explicitly, the existence of an objective moral order 
• . . based on . . . the existence of immutable 
standards by which human conduct should be judged." The 
objection to ideology means that "the existence of 
immutable laws are not susceptible to ideological 
reconstruction." Ideology, then, is not the existing 
dogma of "ordered liberty" but the attempt to change 
that dogma with a new set of ideas" (Meyer, "Consensus" 
230-231) . 

Hoover refers to one of the "aspects of our 
democratic faith" (sic) as "belief that life has a 
meaning that transcends any manmade system." It is 
independent of any such system, and "outlasts any such 
system, a belief diametrically opposed by the 
materialistic dogma of communism." J. Edgar Hoover said 
that communism is opposed to religion and "poses today a 
crucial problem for every patriotic man and woman in 
America. If allowed to develop, it will destroy our way 
of life" (Hoover 320-321). "Out of the deep roots of 


religion ... is the source of strength for our land if 
we are to remain free" (330). 

Hoover hypothesized, "Suppose every American spent 
a little time each day, less than the time demanded by 
the communist, in studying the Bible and the basic 
documents of American history, government and culture?" 
The late F.B.I. director, not making any distinction 
between democracy or republic, restates Niemeyer's 
vision by calling for "a new America, vigilant, strong, 
but ever humble in the service of God." Echoing de 
Toqueville, Hoover remarks at the end "All we need is 
faith, real faith. . . . With God's help, America will 
remain a land where people still know how to be free and 
brave" (emphasis included) (Hoover 334-337). 

The thinking behind the widespread ideology of 
which that of the D.O.E. is representative is elucidated 
further by how other conservatives argue that religion 
forms the basis of the State. Russell Kirk asserts that 
"Civilized man lives by authority; without some 
reference to authority, indeed no form of human 
existence is possible." That authority is a deity, the 
Judeo-Christian God, . . . understood through the human 
conscience. "Genuinely ordered freedomi is the only sort 
of liberty worth having" (Kirk 23-25). Liberty is 


ordered freedom, and freedom is that granted by a deity. 
Kirk justifies the Republic by referring to "a 
government which prefers principle to ideology, " and by 
saying "the philosophical and moral structure of our 
civil order was rooted in the Christian faith, not in 
the worship of Reason" (Kirk, 37). Faith, rather than 
philosophical understanding, explains and justifies 
events and institutions. 

According to M. Stanton Evans, the conservative 
agrees with authoritarians in that people cannot be 
trusted, and wants "to restrain the destructive 
tendencies he discerns in a fallen humanity" (Evans 74). 
Fallen humanity refers to Adam and Eve committing "sin" 
by eating from the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the 
Garden of Eden myth. Fundamentalist Christians refer to 
the "Fall" in supporting their claim that people are 
inherently evil. Evans has little disagreement about 
this view of "human nature." Quoting conservative 
writer Ortega y Gasset, Evans says that people are 
"forced by (their) nature to seek some higher authority" 
(71). The freedom granted by higher authority gives 
people the right to choose according to how one affirms 
a "transcendent order" (69). 


The Role of Religion and Faith in the D.O.E. Ideology 

Religion and faith are called upon frequently to 
rationalize the political-economic system. Examples 
abound, ranging from what Florida's D.O.E. is doing to 
impose religion to pronouncements made by national 
leaders. In Florida, the A.V.C. curriculum handbook 
says that the principle of individual dignity comes 
"from the acknowledgment of a living and merciful God 
and recognition of man's immortal soul." Further on, 
readers are told, "It is easier to distrust than to have 
faith. The fight against the communist conspiracy" 
demands an appropriate perspective; it is a battle where 
one is "fighting for faith." A very important lesson one 
learns in fighting communism, says the D.O.E. "is that 
of faith" (Florida State 2, 11, 16). 

Christianity is the official religion in Florida. 
Legislation entitled "Duties of Instructional Personnel" 
mandates that teachers set an example for pupils, mainly 
by practicing "... every Christian virtue" (Florida 
Statutes 231.09(2)). The 1980 law "permitting study of 
the Bible and religion," and where, U.S. Supreme Court 
in 1963 ruling to the contrary, the "The school board 


may provide that a brief period for " . . . the 
purpose of silent prayer or meditation" was still in 
effect in 1988" (Florida Statutes 233.062). 

Public advocacy of the injection of religion into 
government on a national level reinforces D.O.E. 
philosophy. In a 1984 prayer breakfast speech President 
Reagan said that the church " . . . has had a strong 
influence on the state," that ". . . the bedrock of 
moral order is religion," and "... politics and 
morality are inseparable." Because the foundation of 
morality is religion "religion and politics are 
necessarily related . . . And our Government needs the 
Church because only those humble enough to admit they 
are sinners can bring democracy the tolerance it 
requires in order to survive." Although Reagan claimed 
that the was not trying to establish religion in the 
U.S., he vowed that ". . .we poison society when we 
remove its theological underpinnings" ("Remarks by 
President"). In 1983, he said that the Soviet Union was 
the "focus of evil in the modern worldd." (Clines) 
Webster's dictionary gives several general synonyms for 
"evil," and the context of each of these usages suggests 
that the word means "Satanic." Besides the persistent 
references to "God" in the Declaration of Independence, 


the U.S. currency is constant reminder that "In God We 
Trust." "Under God" was put into the pledge of 
allegiance in the 1950s. Faith as a rationale for 
political and economic policy carries far-ranging 
structural consequences for the system. 

Patrick Buchanan, Reagan's communications director 
and President Nixon's assistant, is quite unequivocal in 
his call for a U.S. theocracy. In a column "The Crisis 
of Godlessness," he calls the U.S. "a supposedly 
Christian country" and regards as mere "taunts" the view 
that Christian values may be imposed upon others "The 
Old and New Testament are not only infallible guides to 
personal salvation; they contain the prescriptions for 
just laws and the good society for building a city set 
upon a hill." For that society, "Religion is the root 
of morality, and morality is the basis of law." In 
asking, "Whose country is this, anyway?" Buchanan says 
the only thing the traditionalist and the conservative 
can do "is never to cease struggling--until we have 
recreated a government and an America that conforms, as 
close as possible, to our image of a good society, if 
you will, a godly country" (Buchanan). 

Conservative policy makers create and sustain a 
social hierarchy that oppresses workers on the job. Such 


conservatives as those setting up the D.O.E. program 
hold that religion (formulating ideas out of faith) is 
inseparable from political-economic decision-making and 
that the majority of people make decisions based on 
faith rather than critical thinking. Individuals taught 
think critically rather than to rely upon faith alone 
are more likely to question social arrangements. The 
conservatives are willing to suppress efforts to change 
an authoritarian system while still advocating "freedom" 
because of their conception of freedom and liberty. 

How Freedom And Liberty Help Shape the D.O.E. Ideology 

In political science terms, freedoms (as 
expressions of rights) are human actions resulting from 
a person's will to act, as opposed to liberties, or the 
individual's ability to act within societal constraints 
(Dye). This nice distinction introduces some very 
fundamental assumptions about the role of government and 
how the power for an individual to act is derived. With 
freedom, the power to act comes from natural rights 
granted from outside the society, and in the case of 
liberty, the state determines the limits of human 
action. The H.U.A.C. statement on Americanism refers to 


natural rights, not liberties. Freedom is granted by a 
deity and cannot be questioned, whereas liberty, being 
defined by human society, can. When the Constitution 
speaks of liberties in its Preamble it talks of what the 
State allows people to do and not their "natural" god- 
given freedoms. 

The D.O.E. literature treats "freedom" and 
"liberty" as synonyms. In the application of their 
theories, however, the definition of these terms is 
obviously that of political science as discussed in 
Power and Society by Thomas Dye. Freedom is an inherent 
right to act in a manner prompted by a person's will. It 
is natural and derived from a source outside society, 
from the deity. Liberty, on the other hand, represents 
society's definition of a person's right to act within 
the concept of the group. 

This nice distinction may be observed historically 
in the Declaration of Independence in which the rights 
granted by the Creator are freedoms justifying 
revolution, and rights of the Constitution are legally 
defined permissions to act granted by the State. The 
H.U.A.C. lists freedom of worship as a natural right 
(i.e., a right granted by God). The exercise of that 
freedom, however, becomes subject to State control when 


the State defines what is acceptable religion. In a 
theocracy, a State which defines itself as being subject 
to a particular god and no other, the "freedom" to 
practice religion becomes the "liberty" to behave 
publicly in a manner acceptable to the worship of that 
god. Freedom becomes indistinguishable from liberty 
since both are subject to the sacerdotes' whims. 

Freedom allows critical thinking and resulting 
action without limit, while liberty imposes restrictions 
to actions. In an oppressive state, where there is very 
little liberty, the presumption is that while people may 
criticize the state in private they should not accompany 
the thoughts by appropriate deeds. A leadership with 
specified ends in mind will act in its best interests by 
emphasizing liberties. Religion acts as a convenient 
device for allowing an advocacy of freedom but excusing 
its curtailment. On one hand, a theocratic regime is 
liberal because of that advocacy but autocratic in 
deferring to a deity's commands restricting liberties. 

While one does not find this degree of 
sophistication in the D.O.E. program, because that 
agency uses "liberty" and "freedom" interchangeably, the 
authoritarianism exists because of religion's role in 
restricting both, as in legislating morality. If 


students are to think critically, the program's 
ideologues would like to have them do so only within 
certain bounds, such as those set by Niemeyer's 
theocracy. This is demonstrated by the repeated 
references to "critical" in its A.V.C. curriculum 
handbook. For example, teachers are implored to "stir up 
student's interest and critical faculties . . . ." 
However, teachers must emphasize the "evils, fallacies 
and contradictions of communism" (Florida State 13-14). 
Students must learn, according to the A.V.C. statutes, 
that the U.S. system is the best on earth. 

Critical Thinking As A Part of the D.O.E. Program 

Given the D.O.E. ideologue's view that faith 
underpins the polity and that liberty circumscribes 
freedom of discussion, promotion of critical thinking 
and philosophy is not the real aim of the program 
mandated in Florida schools, even though lip service is 
paid to it. No process of critical analysis is implied 
when the conclusions of instruction are predetermined. 
As recently as 1987, the D.O.E. iterates that the "free 
enterprise" U.S. economy provides "the highest standard 
of living of any nation in the world" and requires that 


it should be defended against all others (Goddard et 
al . , CH-310 35) . 

The educational material thus defines not only the 
premise to be studied but the conclusion which must be 
reached. Any debate under such circumstances has to be a 
sham. Even the criteria are prescribed. That is best 
which provides the most goods and services in the 
marketplace in which the individual is free to exercise 
choice. There is no opportunity to define terms. 

It should not be necessary to do more than point to 
these obvious flaws in the D.O.E. program to know its 
weakness. However, there are issues involved in any 
society's efforts to achieve the best lives for its 
citizens that are eliminated from consideration in the 
Florida Schools, either directly or tacitly. The 
D.O.E. 's insistence that critical thinking is necessary 
for human dignity suggests that the standards for 
judging the quality of an economic system must include 
the power of a person to think and act accordingly in 
the workplace. "Critical" means being "more imaginative" 
but thinking critically and making decisions have 
special meanings apparently in the economic arena. 

Much is made throughout the instructional program 
of the freedom the student will have to make choices 


when he has graduated. To teach that he will have the 
right to many choices is perhaps misleading. It would be 
easy to offer long lists of what he is not free to buy: 
methanol is not a choice at most service stations, for 
example, nor are parts for many otherwise reparable 
machines. His freedom to choose his work is limited by 
the positions employers offer. Steel workers have few 
chances to make steel in 1988 America. These are not the 
most important exceptions to the opportunity to make 
critical choices. A major part of the ideology's 
rationale seems to be that the average worker should not 
participate in making decisions about what is to be 
produced, who shall get paid what, or how enterprises 
shall be operated. The curriculum's version of free 
choice centers primarily about choosing goods and 
services, pursuing careers, and the opportunity to sell 
goods for a profit (Goddard et al., CH-310 33-34). 

When the students encounter the workplace, they 
often work without the opportunity to participate in 
meaningful decision-making. The majority of workers then 
must work for an already established concern. Taking a 
position that they did not help define, they give up 
some control over their own lives (Bowles 90). Giving 
up control over one's life for a third of one's waking 


hours is counter to the idea that one should think and 
act critically. A major part of a person's identity as a 
dignified individual is, as the D.O.E. admits, "free 
access to all different competing viewpoints," a liberty 
society should allow. Dignity also means being able to 
act on one's thoughts, or the freedom conservatives 
consider as a divine right becomes meaningless. The 
D.O.E. translates this into political terms, that is, 
"Government is the creation of the people, and its power 
rests with them, " but it does not clarify how freedom is 
to permeate the workplace (Florida State 4). The 
D.O.E. 's ideology of Americanism says that worker's 
. inalienable rights . . . are . . . freedom to 

enjoy the fruits of his work, which means the protection 
of his property rights" (65). A person possesses miental 
power as property, including the power to think, and the 
way the D.O.E. says the person should use that power and 
for whose benefit tells one reason why the conservatives 
behind the D.O.E. program defend "free enterprise." 

In classical liberal economics, upon which much of 
the free enterprise ideology is based, freedom depends 
upon possessing property. For the D.O.E. a central 
difference between a capitalist system and a socialist 
system is the right to private ownership of productive 


property. "This privilege is based on the belief that 
people are entitled to keep the rewards from their labor 
or their business efforts" (Goddard et al., CH-310 32- 
33). The philosophical basis of this can be found when 
John Locke, a classical liberal political economist, 
opined " . . . it is very easie to conceive without any 
difficulty, how Labor could first begin a title of 
Property" (Locke 344). 

However, the implications of Locke's views go 
further than what the D.O.E. intended in adopting his 
arguments in favor of property. In casting aside 
whether a person may not receive virtually all material 
fruits of labor, Locke's views on property, insofar as 
applying to how a worker may benefit through mental 
labor as critical thinking, help explicate how "free 
enterprise" treats the dignity of the individual as a 
function of thinking and acting freely in the workplace. 

Locke said that a worker mixes his or her 
existence, or life, with objects in order to transform 
those objects into useful things. When produced solely 
by the individual in this society, these objects become 
the person's property (Locke 330-332). Life, if one is 
to accept Aristotle, involves individuals being 
inexorably linked with property, and if that property is 


taken away from them without due compensation, part of 
that person's identity is lost. There exist many 
questions concerning property and "rights" which are 
ignored in the D.O.E. program, possibly because critical 
thought about them could lead to questioning of the 
justice of the U.S. system. 

Karl Marx said "the secret of the self-expansion of 
capital resolves itself into having the disposal of a 
definite quantity of other people's unpaid labor" (Marx 
500). An equally succinct modern admission of surplus 
value can be found in an item in the business 
publication. Security World: "You hire someone because 
you will earn more from his labor than you will pay him 
in wages" ("Honesty Testing" 71). Gerhart Niemeyer 
freely admits that surplus value is an integral part of 
any economy; "all civilization depends on it" (Niemeyer 
U.S. Congress 36). What the worker produces is sold, and 
the employer accumulates wealth as a result of mixing 
the hired labor with the capital of machines. 

The presence of capital in the mix has been used to 
deny that the workers share of the value of the product 
is any more than the wage he has received. Increasing 
automation and concurrent demands to increase the 
worker's responsibility for the product suggest that 


surplus value should be a continued topic for critical 
thought . 

The central question of an economic system's 
quality is how freely a person may think and act. 
Niemeyer says, "Those who collect it [surplus value] 
undoubtedly have some power in the social system." 
However, he says the political system mitigates that 
power. This does not answer the question about the role 
of a critically thinking worker who does not collect 
surplus value. In most manufacturing facilities persons 
are divorced from the objects they produce, but for the 
sake of argument, let us assume that they receive 
appropriate compensation. 

After compensation, the only thing left for the 
worker after labor power is the ability to make 
decisions. Yet, this is taken along with labor power. 
Both life and property are placed under the employer's 
domain as soon as the individual becomes an employee. 
With service industries, a person's life is expressed by 
activity, the content of which is determined by the 
employer. Even if a worker is adequately compensated 
how does one reconcile the admonitions to think 
critically with the authoritarian workplace? 


Every day the employee is saying to the boss, "You 
can determine what my existence will be like for eight 
hours. You say what I will do with my time." 
Effectively speaking, by not being allowed to 
participate in the decision-making process, a part of 
the worker's existence is stripped away by the employer. 
In other words, the worker has agreed to give up some 
autonomy, but gets nothing in return for part of that 
time, except, perhaps, the opportunity to receive 
material compensation. Existence is for someone else's 
benefit. Workers, in the employer's eyes, are worth 
less as persons. Denying the worker the opportunity to 
think and act critically reduces that person to the 
level of a robot or a well-trained animal. An employer 
having such control over workers has access to the 
political apparatus if wealth has been accumulated. 

Despite what the ideology says about a person's 
rights to participate equally with everyone else in 
politics, the businessperson has an advantage by being 
able to finance that participation. Because of this, the 
employers have an interest in carrying their pattern of 
restricting a worker's participation in decision-making 
in the workplace into the political arena (Greever 
passim). A person holding political power generally has 


the ability to seek another to do her or his will. The 
power holder has a greater existence status than other 
people. In the U.S. system political power normally is 
a function of wealth, as Domhoff, Mills, Bowles, and 
Gintis have argued. This can be explained by the 
relationship that wealth can have with human life. 

The power to make decisions in society is a 
function of accumulating wealth. Power over oneself, or 
the ability to direct one's own activities also is a 
function of individual dignity, as the D.O.E. has stated 
(Florida State 4). Employers deny workers this ability 
of self-control in exchange for material compensation. 
The ability to control workers' lives is represented by 
accumulated wealth, which facilitates access to 
political power in the case of financing campaigns or 
buying office. 

Political power often means that a person wielding 
a great deal of it has a greater existence status than a 
member of the general population. An accumulation of a 
large amount of wealth is evidence that contrary to 
Niemeyer's view that the power of wealth is effectively 
regulated by government, those possessing wealth often 
constitute the government (Bowles, Greever, Domhoff). 
Those imposing authority in the workplace and 


discouraging worker participation in decision-making 
often are the same ones who serve often generously, on 
boards and councils advising the D.O.E. Without 
consciously injecting bias, it would be natural that 
they make recommendations which in effect advocate a 
democracy and exclude workers as citizens. Thus, the 
D.O.E. can come to demand that people think critically 
but find ways at the same time to make them more 
obedient to a theocratic order. A primary purpose for 
preparing individuals to think critically is so they can 
participate effectively in deciding what happens in the 
political and economic systems of their country, that 
is, to make them good democrats. 

Although the curriculum presents a distorted view 
of the U.S. system, the U.S. social reality reinforces 
the D.O.E. philosophy. A failure to talk about the 
values being imposed on U.S. working people will likely 
block the success of a program designed to teach people 
to think critically about their society. The next 
chapter describes the values that need criticism. 


How Students Are Told They Must Act in the Workplace 

Despite the D.O.E. claims that students should 
think critically and philosophically, the conservative 
mentality behind Florida's cold war program is that the 
average person is not philosophical and should accept 
things on faith or, as Niemeyer says, "... what is new 
under the sun cannot come from men or nature but only 
from God" (Niemeyer Between 168). The D.O.E. argues that 
"It is easier to distrust than to have faith." The fight 
against communism is "fighting for faith" (Florida State 
11). A work force which has been taught faith rather 
than critical reasoning tends to be docile and easily 
governed. What students are told about their role in the 
workplace seems to reflect this philosophy. 

Florida grammar school students learn that while 
"decision-making" means "The act or process of arriving 
at a solution to a problem, especially by giving 
judgment," there is no suggestion that decision-making 
should apply to the operation of a workplace (Goddard et 
al., CE-131 3, passim). The role of decision-making is 
clarified further in high school in that 



not only does management organize and direct resources 
but that it is "the administrative aspect of an industry 
as opposed to labor" (Goddard et al., CH-310 8). 
Vocational orientation materials say that "decision- 
making" and critical thinking are only meant to improve 
worker performance and not to establish the workers' 
control over the economy (Dresner 19). 

Business leaders do complain that such a condition 
reguires too much supervision, and, although attempts 
are being made to bring labor into management levels, 
the overall pattern is labor's exclusion from decision- 
making ( "Management-Labor" ) . Half the solution to the 
problem of establishing a critical thinking program or 
democratic workplace is recognizing that the ideology of 
Americanism depend upon a philosophy that reinforces a 
social reality beneficial to those in power. Further, 
students are being taught that obedience at work has the 
greatest material rewards. If "free enterprise" is the 
best on earth because of the guantity of goods it 
provides, teaching obedience to those controlling the 
system is a way to sustain the Florida legislature's 
judgment . 

Florida students learn how to behave properly in 
the U.S. workplace. All of the following nationally 


used materials have been found frequently in Florida's 
schools. In It's Up to You, a contemporary, frequently 
used "job survival skills" booklet, the workplace 
parameters are clearly described in what that 
publication calls a "no-nonsense" style. The teacher 
instructs the students " . . . what kinds of answers are 
acceptable for an interview" (Dresner 4). The students 
" . . . need to convince the employer that they meet the 
requirements for the job (Dresner 19). The student's 
wishes for job security, career goals, and stability 
create the motivation to become assimilated into the 
workplace. A job the person likes to do for which he 
has appropriate skills, and a cooperative attitude 
contribute towards worker contentment. Hardly would a 
worker want to be situated in an intolerable workplace. 
Comfort, however, carries a double-edged sword. Too 
much comfort tempers criticism or a desire for change. 
Stability depends upon satisfaction. On the other hand 
to attain that happiness, workers often become 
demanding, a condition not tolerated by workplace 
supervisors . 

It's Up to You says the workers should have 
flexibility, cooperativeness, dependability, 
assertiveness, and decision-making ability. The last 


does not mean that the workers should participate in 
decision-making, but that workers should obey the boss, 
abide by stipulated workplace conditions, and otherwise 
act suitably. These elements are taught as being 
necessary for the political economy to function 
smoothly. Decision-making for the worker does not mean 
participatory democracy, but rather "choosing what to 
do," or more precisely defined by the example, "The 
company offered him two different jobs. He has to make 
a decision about which job he wants" (Dresner 19). But, 
3 " • • . person who gives instructions makes more 

decisions. ..." A worker comes by such authority 
because the boss gives it (Dresner 21). Ranking is done 
by superiors, managers, and bosses of all types, to each 
of whom the employee is beholden in varying degrees. 
Decision-making occurs within a carefully defined 

To what end is decision-making directed? More 
succinctly, the question is: "How does the interviewer 

decide if someone will be a good investment? Why are 
new employees investments for the company" (Dresner 92)? 
In the answer portion of the booklet, the "personnel 
director" states, "If they have definite career goals, 
it is much easier for me to see if they will fit in 


here." If they . . know what they want in their 
future," they will likely know now, so the interviewer 
will know "... they'll be happy here" (Dresner 92). 

The workers are investments because a lot of time 
and money is spent in training them. Employees are 
resources for production; for them to remain on the job, 
they should be happy. In a mock interview with a 
factory worker, decision-making means "... keeping the 
machines in good working order," .pa an indication of 
the limited thinking expected of the employee (Dresner 
117) . 

Nowhere does the unsettling guestion arise about 
who owns or controls the means of production, what shall 
be produced, who should decide how the productive 
surplus shall be distributed, or how the situation got 
to be where it is. In virtually every instance, it is 
assumed the existing economic order of private 
enterprise should prevail. Implicit in this material is 
the idea of subordination, or keeping one's place. 
Tasks are parceled out among workers at various levels. 
Interaction among those levels, save for the upper 
levels (those having more authority) telling lower ones 
what to do, is discouraged. Workers with less 


"responsibility" and authority look up to and not across 
to supervisors. 

In Getting a Job, after proper dress and manners, 
workers learn where they find specific information on 
the job. Students aspiring to be workers should choose 
among "supervisor, co-worker, and no one" (Knox 33). 
Quickly, the student discovers that one does not ask the 
supervisor where the restrooms are, how much weekly pay 
is, whether one can eat lunch with the supervisor (much 
less, where to buy lunch), or why one is leaving early. 
Most significantly, the worker does not ask or tell the 
supervisor how the former is liked. Special people 
divulge particular information. Only certain classes of 
people may associate with other classes. As the boss 
does not sit down to lunch with the employees, so the 
teacher does not sit down with the student (Knox 33). 
This latter comment is not as extraneous as it first 
appears, for some school structures do not differ 
significantly from the workplace, if one likens the 
teachers to bosses, the report cards to paychecks, the 
curriculum to workplace rules and instructions, and the 
bells to timeclocks. 

When the student graduates from school, he meets 
the world of work. In another widely used publication. 


Don't Get Fired, Mike cleans up a large office building. 
The boss enters, carelessly allows cigarette ashes to 
fall on the floor Mike has spent so many hours cleaning, 
and then orders Mike to clean them up. The boss gets 
angry when Mike criticizes the demand, saying "Young 
man, when you work for someone, you obey orders." There 
is trouble, "Because Mike hasn't learned that it is not 
wise to talk back to the boss, even when the boss is 
wrong" (Anema 53). 

Bosses have help in maintaining a strait jacketed 
workplace. In a recent report on technology in U. S. 
industry, readers learned how "millions of blue collar 
and white collar employees are working under the even 
more watchful and relentless scrutiny of the computer." 
Computer-generated performance reports "are being used 
to structure piece-rate pay systems and to form the 
basis for disciplining, demoting or even firing the slow 
or under-skilled employee ("Management-Labor" 124). 

What apologists for U.S. industry say actually 
happens in the workplace confirms the norms taught by 
vocational course material. A 1984 Business Week 
editorial admitted that "In the auto industry, as in 
many work situations elsewhere, workers are 

traditionally expected to do what they are told and 


leave the thinking to the boss ("Management-Labor"). 
Various restrictions in the workplace such as timeclocks 
and performance quotas tend to stifle critical thought 
and dissent. Nothing in the basic values held by the 
business community encourages the sharing of authority 
with workers. 

Business Values Underlying the Curriculum 

Central to shaping the D.O.E. curriculum are 
private businesses, and their purpose of "adding 
economic values to human resources" is expressed by one 
of their professional organizations, the National 
Institute for Work and Learning. In its recent study 
sponsored by the U.S. Office of Education, the Institute 
says : 

The bottom line for all activities associated 
with these functions is whether, collectively, 
they produce material respect, trust, 
reliability, and demonstrated results meeting 
the specific needs of individual businesses, 
higher educational institutions, and adult 
learners. (Gold 14) 

Learning needs are articulated within a certain 
system. First, students must be motivated to acquire 
skills while developing positive attitudes towards 
society. Skill and attitude need to be " . . . linked in 


the learner's mind to relevant people, places and 
opportunities in the immediate community and larger 
society. Improved motivation, in turn, reduces both 
anti-social behavior and the need for costly remedial 
programs." The curriculum must instill democratic and 
capitalist values in the minds of students. To do this 
"requires the participation of employers, workers, and 
other citizens." In producing cost effective "labor 
supply aligned with the market demand for labor" every 
social sector interested in the system should take part 
in training students. Workers must be kept motivated, 
socialized, and "positive," while social order is 
preserved and enough workers are made available when the 
"market" demands it (Gold 3). 

As shown above, "democracy," as used by business 
people, does not necessarily mean that workers run the 
workplace. Instead, it usually implies that workers 
should use decision-making to select the best consumer 
goods and to find better ways of making the "free 
enterprise" system work. The worker's central role in 
the system, according to such words as "meeting the 
specific needs of individual businesses," is that of 
consumer and element of a labor pool, a pool that is an 
instrument of a profit-making machine. Rather than the 


economic system serving the workers, the workers serve 
the economic system. 

That these views have wide currency is evidenced by 
what other major business groups say. The American 
Vocational Association says that vocational education 
should only help "the private sector with a suitably 
trained work force that is productive and competitive in 
the marketplace--in essence, helping the private sector 
to be profitable" (Paul 3). The National Association of 
State Directors of Vocational Education described "... 
what they perceive to be the main purposes of vocational 
education" ("Position Statement" 11). 

There are two: "Provide individuals with the skills 
they need to attain economic freedom. Enhance the 
productivity of local, state, and national economies." 
More specific aims are to give individuals information 
about the nature of work and work opportunities. 
Vocational education also trains people to make 
decisions, but only for enhancing production and 
business profits. Organizational leadership skills also 
must "promote and support the values of free enterprise 
in a democratic society" ("Position Statement" 3). In 
other words democracy must contain "free enterprise." 
This special brand of democracy, by incorporating the 


“free enterprise" workplace values, such as not talking 
back to the boss "even when the boss is wrong," is like 
Aristotle's view that democracy excludes non-citizens, 
among whom are workers. 

Endorsement of free enterprise type programs from 
national organizations (as indicated on the Council for 
Economic Education advertisements), public and private, 
lends credence to the assertion that the D.O.E. program 
in Florida cannot be treated as an isolated phenomenon. 
The Free Enterprise Act is typical, as exemplified by 
Arizona and Louisiana, which have mandatory free 
enterprise courses consisting of the same type of 
material as used in Florida. Like those in Florida, 
students in these states must pass the free enterprise 
course in order to graduate from high school. The 
purported economic values are hard work with expectation 
of a reward, but what actually happens on the job 
militates against a critically thoughtful work force. 
Not being able to "talk back" to the boss "even when the 
boss is wrong, " threatening workers by monitoring their 
every keystroke, and admissions from some employers that 
"employees leave thinking to the boss" show that the 
authoritarian workplace is common (Anema 53, Perl, 
"Management-Labor"). Freedom of opportunity. 


participatory democracy, and critical thinking still are 
mere ideals. 

What the Business Values Mean 

In addition to enjoining deviant behavior in the 
workplace and ignoring fundamental problems in the U.S. 
economic system, the workplace orientation material 
discussed above calls for a society with specific 
features. It is a system involving everyone as 
productive, competitive workers. Competition means that 
bosses will hire workers willing to produce for the 
lowest wage. A business person gains advantage by 
aggressively selling as many goods and services as 
possible, regardless of whether the environment is 
destroyed or human safety is jeopardized. The American 
Vocational Association's statement indicates that both 
productivity and competition serve private profitability 
(Paul 3). Profitability measures the success of both. 
"Economic Freedom," couched in the values of private 
competitiveness and productivity becomes linked to the 
"nature of work," along with opportunity ("Position 
Statement" 11). 

Work and opportunity are supposed to make business 
profitable, and profitable businesses enable the worker 


to prosper. However, material prosperity is not the only 
way of gauging an economic system's success if the 
society values critical thinking. In using the term 
"democracy, " those advocating critical thinking must go 
beyond "decision-making" merely as selecting the best 
thing to do and say that democracy .pa means using 
critical thinking in every aspect of life, including the 
workplace . 

A person like Dresner (who says Mike should not 
talk back to the boss, even when the boss is wrong) 
promote a society where bosses, analogous to Aristotle's 
"citizens," discourage workplace democracy for workers 
as non-citizens. Within this special democracy is a 
workplace where there are specific relationships defined 
in terms of public and private sectors, buyers and 
sellers of labor power, a cutthroat marketplace, leaders 
and followers, and employers and workers. Such 
distinctions separate people and discourage 
participation in decision-making. Without this 
participation, people have little need for critical 
faculties, especially if they are told what to do all 
the time. 

It is consistent for students to be told that they 
must follow orders blindly in the workplace on one hand 


and be told, on the other hand, that they are living in 
a democratic society and they are free to choose what 
will happen in their own lives. To get a balanced view 
of U.S. society they should be shown the system's 
benefits, but they also should be aware that health care 
is not provided to most people, that millions are 
homeless, or that businesses fire workers if they 
protest hazardous working conditions (Freudheim, 
Carmody, "Ousted Worker Wins"). People who have scant 
opportunity to criticize their orders, and decision- 
making skills do not generally become developed. This 
happens when those having an interest in maintaining 
power benefit by an oppressive ideology which says the 
workers cannot and should not have a say in how the 
workplace should be run. A voice from the private 
business sector expresses concern that workers are being 
turned into robots without any thinking skills. However, 
programs to involve workers in making decisions about 
how the workplace is run often falter without continued 
support from management ("Management-Labor"). Besides 
the lack of such support, there is the problem of 
getting people to participate in decision-making. Even 
within a supportive environment, people are reluctant to 
take time and effort to get involved. Business leaders 


are thrust into a highly destructive competition, one 
not unlike a war. They are caught between the perceived 
need for running the business like an army division and 
allowing a workplace alongside the alleged political 
democracy on the outside. A business person's mistrust 
of governments stems not only from a realization of what 
well-heeled organizations can do, such as efficient 
cutthroat businesses, but from the enormous 
inefficiencies attendant with all bureaucracies. 

When schools use material like Don't Get Fired, 
teachers are caught in a dilemma in teaching critical 
thinking and philosophy. Thinking critically is 
detrimental to a person's well being in the U.S. 
economic system where someone like Mike does criticize 
the boss. A critically thoughtful worker may not 
encounter this rigid a workplace; instead that person 
can meet more subtle ways that critical thinking is 
discouraged. A recent business publication contained a 
report, "Bottom Line Personal--The Many New Measures of 
Intelligence, " which cited an article in The New York 
Times about ". . . psychologists [who] see the art of 
persuasion as essential to success in much of life." 
Being an academician, having a great deal of 
intelligence, and "... success have little to do with 


each other" according to a psychologist guoted in the 
article. One must be "practical" because "... academic 
intelligence has little to do with success in life." 
What makes a successful person is the ability to sell 
something, namely, "... the habits of mind that foster 
productivity" {Boardroom Reports). 

The virtuous traits of an academician, critical 
thinking and philosophical thinking, militate against 
being a salesperson, for selling something more often 
than not means telling partial truths. The Florida 
legislature and the D.O.E. are not unlike salespersons 
in indoctrinating students with the ideology of 
Americanism and saying, without qualification, that, its 
product, the U.S. "free enterprise" system, is the best 
on earth. If educational establishments assume that 
academic intelligence does not correlate with success 
while sales skills do, then it would be logical not to 
emphasize critical thinking skills but salesmanship. 
There is little distance from that point to arguing that 
a successful D.O.E. program is one which can convince 
students that a doctrine is true. In turn, the D.O.E. 's 
pedagogy establishes for students a pattern of thinking 
that not only is acceptable in an ostensibly objective 
learning environment but a pattern vital to success. 


D.O.E.-type ideologies reinforce a workplace and social 
structure that says workers are tools to be used for 
perpetuating those in power and are not competent to 
join in the philosophic reasoning necessary to a 
citizen. The course material has significant omissions. 
Many realities which demand consideration are ignored. 
While the student is told he lives in a democracy, the 
average workplace is not that. 

These effects flow from an educational program 
which by its nature betrays its intent as will be shown 
in the next chapter. 


What Constitutes Reasoning and Critical Thinking 

To teach students how to think critically about 
social science the legislature and D.O.E. must find some 
alternative to the current program. The A.V.C. and Free 
enterprise courses inhibit an understanding of the world 
and serve only to inflame students against other 
systems. The D.O.E. wants students to accept philosophy 
in deference to the reputedly ideological communism. 
Philosophy is defined by the D.O.E. as an "attempt to 
approach the truth in which assumptions may be 
questioned and critically examined. (Florida State 18). 
Ideology is defined as the absence of questioning and 
critical examination. Because the D.O.E. is looking for 
a way to teach philosophically rather than 
ideologically, we need to see what constitutes 
philosophy in order to identify the current D.O.E. 
teaching methodology and what should be done to change 
it . 

The D.O.E. 's references to "reason," "critical 
examination", and "logic" constitute only special parts 
of philosophy and are not synonymous with each other. 



Nierneyer faults ideologies for holding ideas merely 
because they cohere logically (Nierneyer, Between 73). A 
logic system can be constructed with a great deal of 
research and predicated upon a set of well thought out 
assumptions. In this way, thinking logically appears to 
be thinking critically or open-mindedly . The person 
constructing it may be quite willing to hold the system 
up to public scrutiny and even be willing to alter the 
assumptions. A major problem occurs when conclusions 
are drawn only within the confines of a particular logic 
system . 

The D.O.E. says it prefers philosophy over 
ideology, but the primary focus in curricular material 
is on thinking critically. Upon closer examination one 
finds that "critical," for that agency, means making a 
diligent effort to find arguments sustaining its anti- 
communist views. For example, a "critical analysis of 
the nature of communism" means that students are 
"studying the evils, fallacies, and contradictions of 
communism" (Florida State 12-13). To the D.O.E. being 
critical means giving "more than a 'yes' or 'no' answer 
to the questions." Students raise questions so the 
teacher can discuss appropriate concepts. One concept is 
that " freedom is denied in all phases of life in the 


Soviet Union." To elicit presentation of this concept 
students ask questions about religion and culture in the 
U.S.S.R. (Florida State 14, 30). Lest confusion arise 
about how teachers present material, there needs to be a 
discussion about the nature of argument, critical 
thinking, and philosophy. 

Philosophy courses often attempt to show that 
"reason" is preferable to emotion in winning arguments. 
A number of writers say "reason" means consciously 
structuring an argument (Weddle, Scriven, Toulmin et 
al.). One text defines "reasoning" as "the central 
activity of presenting the reasons in support of a 
claim, so as to show how those reasons succeed in giving 
strength to the claim" (Toulmin et al. 13). The problem 
with this definition is that it is vague and circular. 
Precisely what "activity" is involved in presenting the 
reasons? Is it ordering relationships and setting 
standards for evaluating claims? "Reasons" is used in 
the definition of the word "reasoning." This is 
analogous to defining a "farmer" as one who farms. 

A less circular definition of "reasoning" is 
"systematically working toward the solution of a 
problem, toward the understanding of a phenomenon, 
toward the truth of the matter" (Scriven 2). Although 


this definition captivates a major idea in saying that 
intellectual effort rather than mere acceptance is used 
to arrive at a concept, it is assumed there is a general 
agreement as to the meaning of "systematic." Further, 
the definition assumes that once a problem is 
articulated, a solution or truth exists and it can be 
found by this "reasoning." The D.O.E.'s Resource Unit 
invokes this meaning of reason when it wants students 
"to approach the truth" (Florida State 18). 

Reasoning can also mean simply being able to 
support an argument, but one begs the question about 
there being such a thing as support (VJeddle passim) . An 
assertion that support exists does not necessarily 
constitute "reason." The standards used to judge 
support also are selected from bases other than what 
people call "reason." Often, standards of support 
depend upon metaphysics, but metaphysics is beyond the 
immediate realm of the mechanics of logic and specified 
methods of. ^arriving at answers (Feibleman 121). 

Support sometimes incorporates emotion. "Reason" 


pitted against 


and is 

regarded more 

as a 


that humanity 


at a 

consensus of 


constitutes support 

( Scriven 


It is assumed 



that there is a human thought process called "reason" 
that is totally divorced from emotion and that it is 
universal. Different cultures and people of diverse 
perspectives may organize thoughts about the same thing 
differently. It would be rather presumptuous to claim 
that any single logic or way of creating a logistic 
system is sufficient to gain universal and unquestioned 
acceptance among an emotional humanity. Unambiguously 
defining emotion is not such an easy task. More 
difficult is determining the degree that emotion enters 
into a decision-making process. Often, human feeling is 
so intertwined with the facts (that are supposedly 
independent of that feeling) that one cannot say when 
"reason" is being used. 

The term "philosophical reason" has been used as an 
attempt to overcome combining emotion with reason in 
arriving at universal truths (Fogelin 302). Reason, to 
paraphrase Scriven, certifies the shortcuts to the truth 
(Scriven 5). Perhaps a better way of treating 
philosophical reason is to say that the "truth" refers 
to what the people see as the truth, even if emotion is 
involved. To say that there are "universal truths" 
commits one to a position not unlike a religonist 
claiming the existence of a perfect being or deity. How 


close to a universal agreement a way of thinking comes 
is only one ingredient in "critical thinking." 

Critical thinking often is taught in college 
English and speech departments, under the rubric of 
"argumentation" or "debate." Understanding what is 
"good" versus "poor" reasoning refers to "critical 
thinking." Neil Postman says that critical thinking 
enables one ". . .to tell the difference between lies 
and truth" and also means "how to think" (Postman 4). 
Critical thinking, for Striven, means, "to reason 
better" (Scriven 13). "Critical thinking" means 
"identifying and describing the strengths and weaknesses 
of arguments." The basic instruments of this include 
the beginning and end of an argument, the stages the 
arguments must pass through, and tests for checking 
"whether a particular argument is fully reasoned 
through" (Toulmin et al. 23). 

One principal danger of advocating critical 
thinking as a way of overcoming the teaching of ideology 
is falling prey to the supposition that there are 
"neutral" truths that everyone necessarily will 
recognize with proper thinking. An example is the 
D.O.E.'s thinking that after "critical analysis" 
students automatically will see how "evil" communism is. 


"The goal is the truth" says Scriven, but what if there 
is no "truth" but a conclusion finally arrived at by 
intuition or subjective means (Scriven 12)? The 
objectivity one is supposed to have in good 
argumentation means, for some people, that emotions 
should not be aroused (Scriven 50). It is difficult to 
remove emotions and bias even in computers, for the 
humans programming the machines have value judgments and 
biases. How one selects the things to be analyzed and 
what standards of evaluation are used reflect human 
biases. It is difficult to conceive how a humanity can 
escape itself. Even thinking that "reasoning" could 
exclude human feeling presupposes a judgment made by a 
human presumably with feelings. 

A synonym for lack of emotion, neutrality, often 
gets coupled with a historicity. When people think that 
the best standards of critical thinking have been 
maintained, a danger lurks in believing that the 
"reasoned" ideas are true regardless of historical 
perspectives. There are at least pitfalls in 
considering the importance of history in critical 
thinking. First, in denigrating the importance of 
history, one loses the opportunity of seeing how 
reasoning standards fare in different contexts. For 


example, the standards set for good evidence during the 
Salem witchcraft trials are radically different from 
those in the 1980s. A historical perspective allows one 
to see the possible social consequences arising from 
applying those seventeenth century standards. The 
second pitfall involves an overreliance upon history as 
a way of explaining social events. Making false 
historical comparisons is representative of this. 
Saying that the U.S. working people will rise up in 
revolt because they are undergoing the same conditions 
that workers in latter nineteenth century England is 
deterministic and a misuse of history. Invoking 
historical perspective is another means for assessing a 
social situation and arriving at value judgments about 
it. Each historical period contains its modes and 
standards for reasoning. 

For critical thinking in general, the "supporting" 
claims, involves standards that vary with individuals, 
cultures, and other subjective factors. Although 
history is not often a major topic in critical thinking 
texts, some people like Belth and Toulmin et al. devote 
sections to the importance of placing the standards for 
critical thinking in historical context (Belth 126-154, 
Toulmin et al . 129-135). As Toulmin et al. ask, "May 


not people in different cultures or at different times 
in history begin from different initial presumptions? 
So may not the actual course of practical reasoning go 
quite differently in different cultures and epochs?" 
(129). Qualitative assessments of what constitutes 
adequate support for a claim are not alone considered 
good critical thinking. 

Some of these difficulties seem to be recognized in 
the literature, however. As one writer of critical 
thinking texts remarks, ". . . the ways in which the 
burden of proof is allocated . . . have a history." No 
one can authoritatively say that a general kind of 
reasoning, along with a set of the same initial 
presumptions, "must be accepted as authoritative and 
compulsory in all cultures and in all historical epochs" 
(Toulmin et al. 134). There does appear to be a general 
agreement among persons presenting critical thinking 
courses that constant, open inquiry is important in 
arriving at ideas. Broadly interpreted, this would mean 
taking account of varying cultures, history, and the 
possibility that conclusions often are laden with 
multiple and even conflicting truths. 

Three interrelated areas of critical analysis enter 
into an analysis of social problems; gathering facts. 


arranging and analyzing the meaning of facts, and 
drawing conclusions. Facts can be gathered in 
conformity with a performed argument, or an argument can 
be made on the basis of the facts. In gathering facts, 
reasoning and critical thinking texts frequently refer 
to "backing," "support," or "evidence." In one text, a 
set of exercises asks for the kinds of information that 
would go into backing up the given assertions (Toulmin 
et al. 63). Students are asked what kind of 
documentation would be necessary to support the claim 
that the U.S.S.R. was a "terror society" between 1949 
and 1953 (Toulmin et al. 64). Recognizing the place of 
statistics is a skill taught in critical courses as 
well. For example, students are told that the figures 
given in the following passage is "unknowable." 

"In the past 5000 years men have fought 14,523 
wars. One out of four persons living during this time 
have been war casualties. A nuclear war would add 
1,245,000,000 men, women, and children to this tragic 
list" (Kahane 78). The case against nuclear war would 
be immensely strengthened with data which could actually 
be found, such as figures from the Hiroshima bombing, 
and numbers of war dead from the previous world wars. 


By far, the greatest emphasis in critical thinking 
courses is on the analysis of facts in argument form. 
Part of the problem, says one text, is choosing among 
logic, empirical analysis, analogs, and so forth (Belth 
156). Some other ways of evaluating data are detecting 
fallacies, recognizing bad statistics, making 
appropriate comparisons, and assessing the guality of 
language used in the argument. One text has a section 
on comparing different national incomes. If a country's 
cost of living is quite low, then a low income level 
would not necessarily mean a low living standard 
(Weddle 98-99). Language can be critical in arguments. 
Students in this text are asked to criticize arguments 
based upon word usage. Some assertions contain no new 
information, such as the political speech quoted in 
Weddle. "'The real thrust of this administration . . . 
consists in opting where possible for programs which 
tend to be cost effective in meeting this institution's 
missions and goals'" (Weddle 69). Weddle says that 
"running the institution effectively" means the same. 

Drawing good conclusions primarily depends upon 
being aware of how all the elements of argument analysis 
come together. This means making an effort to discover 
any errors in argument construction. Toulmin et al. 


establish six elements entering into an argument 
analysis. Claims and their grounds (facts used to 
support the claims) must be established. The type of 
argumentation used must be presented. Support, or the 
way the evidence is used to back the claims, is needed. 
The modalities, or conditions under which the argument 
holds have to be established. Finally, the argument 
must withstand possible rebuttals (Weddle 25). Other 
text writers try developing a sense of good 
argumentation by categorizing the type of problems 
encountered in argumentation and discussing them 
separately. Identifying fallacies, guestioning the 
authority behind sources, making generalizations, 
evaluating comparisons, and examining the meaning of 
causality comprise the problem areas for Weddle. These 
problem areas, however, overlap greatly with what is 
covered in logic courses. 

What Logic Is 

Philosophy departments offer logic courses 
ostensibly designed to develop critical faculties. 
Standard beginning logic texts, such as Logic by Robert 
Baum and Irving Copi's Introduction to Logic say that 


logic sets standards for the way people reason and forms 
the basis for clear and critical thinking. These logic 
courses often are divided into two parts: deductive and 
inductive logic. Students symbolize arguments and 
ascertain whether they are deductively valid, i.e.; if 
the premises are true, the conclusion necessarily must 
be, as well. Deductive logic is the study of formal 
relationships among already established truths. 
Inductive logic involves informal fallacies, enumerative 
induction, and some theories about scientific method 
(Copi, Baum, Weddle). 

These logic courses often are quite structured and 
do not, in the main comprise what non-philosophy 
departments, Niemeyer, the D.O.E., and others seem to 
have in mind for their reasoning and critical thinking 
programs. For example, logic is taught in English and 
speech departments, where oratory and rhetoric 
traditionally were taught in order to have the speaker 
present arguments as forcefully and convincingly as 
possible (Brock). Voice control, command of the 
language, and argument structure comprised these skills. 
However, these departments recognized that students as 
listeners needed to "describe, interpret and evaluate" 
the oratorical content (Brock 19). 


Symbolic logic attempts to translate ordinary 
language arguments into an analyzable form. However, it 
is highly debatable whether this can be done. There is 
reason to believe that the original intent of symbolic 
logic was to symbolize mathematical relationships. J. 
Barkely Rosser, originator of the system commonly used 
in symbolic logic texts such as Copi's, says 

Politics, salesmanship, ethics, and many such 
fields have little or no use for the sort of 
logic used in mathematics, and for these our 
symbolic logic would be quite useless ... no 
adequate symbolic treatment of the relationship 
involving cause and effect has yet been devised. 
(Rosser 6) 

James K. Feibleman states that logic texts are more 
interested in proving theorems and doing applied logic 
rather then exploring the assumptions made in logic. If 
the reasons for accepting the assumptions are not 
examined, what follows is merely mechanical (Feibleman 
119 et seg. ) . 

Informal logic includes a study of fallacies, or 
faulty modes of reasoning, partly by wrong uses of the 
language. The fallacy of amphibole, for example, 
presents an argument as being deductive with purportedly 
true premises, while playing upon a multiple meaning of 
a word or phrase (Baum 138). 


Other components of the typical basic logic course 
are scientific method and probability. No one 
scientific method is usually discussed, and the section 
on probability is usually mechanical in nature. Both 
are treated as inductive logic and it is not uncommon to 
arrive at conclusions qualitatively. 

Formal logic does serve to discover new 
relationships among elements that would not have 
otherwise been found. Inductive logic is open in that 
it does not have a regularly established procedure for 
arriving at a conclusion based upon a set of premises. 
However, there are problems with using logic to explore 
and understand the world, as well as using logic as a 
substitute for philosophy. Logic presupposes the 
existence of structure and order, arrangements that are 
made by human invention and imposed upon the world. 
Another common denominator among all aspects of logic is 
the supposition that there is a psychological process 
called "inference." Humans will be able to conclude 
things given certain arrangements of things. A simple 
example is transitivity. If x is larger than y, and y 
is larger than z, then x is larger than z. A problem 
occurs when there is no universal agreem.ent about the 
conclusion, as when different cultures enter the 


picture. Here, one must go beyond logic, and mere 
critical thinking. 

Philosophers like E.A. Burtt offer a useful insight 
into critical thinking. Burtt says people must "freely 
learn from each other" (Burtt 32). In critically held 
views, differing points of view must be accounted for. 
Even so, ideas are subject to change due to 
circumstances upon which the idea is based, or a change 
in the purposes for which the idea is fitted. An 
essential criterion for determining if an idea has been 
generated and held critically is whether the idea can 
withstand challenges. More than simply accounting for 
opposing views, one asks whether the person holding the 
idea generates ways of successfully discussing the 
idea's weak points. Broad says that an idea must be 
subjected ". . .to all the objections that we can think 
of" (Broad 19). Reasoning, critical thinking, and logic 
are not adequate for this task. 

What It Means to Think Philosophically 

A vast gap exists between ideology and philosophy. 
Ideologues merely accept and hold ideas irrespective of 
what others say or present as refutation. Persons 


holding views uncritically ignore internal 
contradictions, while the ideas are not subject to 
change and tend to be simplistic. These people are the 
fanatics who talk about the " . . . certitude of holy 
writ" (Hoffer 128). Critical thinking does address what 
is in the here and now and deals with it in an open- 
ended fashion. With philosophy, however, there are not 
just problems with answers, no matter how critically 

Critical thinking stands against the backdrop of 
philosophy, be it a guess at the truth, the metaphysics 
of logic, or just meditating without being aware that 
there is something called "reason." A philosopher ". . 

. delights in the clash of thought and in the give and 
take of controversy" (Hoffer 8). When the D.O.E. says 
philosophy means approaching the truth while questioning 
and critically examining basic assumptions, that is not 
enough, as a logical truth can be reasoned out by 
carefully relating elements according to critically 
thought out rules. Philosophy also is an inquiry into 
the nature of human purpose and uses a variety of means, 
such as critical thinking and logic. C.D. Broad suggests 
that Speculative Philosophy involves guesses at the 
truth, which then are subject to critical analysis (19). 


While the particular meaning of philosophy differs 
for each individual, it still directs a person to keep 
an open mind. One common denominator seems to be 
present among all philosophy texts. There is an ongoing 
process of holding ideas up to challenge. No idea is 
considered as absolute. Philosophy is a process, and 
many ingredients and evaluative techniques enter into 
it. It involves numerous elements ranging from formal 
logic to a subjective evaluation of how language is 
used. Philosophy as a process enters into all phases of 
instruction. The accumulation of facts never ends, no 
one mode of their presentation exists, and no one set of 
conclusions can be drawn about what people learn. This 
does not mean that philosophers carry no biases. As 
noted, above, just the selection of standards for good 
thinking is biased and has built-in value judgments. On 
the other hand, if the bias is recognized, a person who 
thinks philosophically will be all the more cognizant of 
the need to entertain other ideas. 

Ironically, for Niemeyer, Marx, in his preface to 
the 1859 edition of Kapital , stated that his work would 
never be complete. Instead of Marxism being a set of 
beliefs, it could be considered a method of inquiry, a 
method which says that inquiry must continue forever. 


It is persistent inquiry with an open mind, after all, 
that Niemeyer wants in a good D.O.E. program. 

That the D.O.E. omits several vital features in its 
definition of philosophy explains why the D.O.E. can 
claim it is teaching philosophy but is nevertheless 
using only a highly structured component of philosophy, 
such as logic. A closed system of thinking often will 
exhibit an extensive variety of ideas appearing to 
emanate from open minds, but as long as the assumptions 
shaping that system are not open to question, an 
ideology exists. The next chapter examines how the 
D.O.E. uses the method of logic to make its curriculum 
ideological . 


The D.O.E. System of Logic 

Gerhart Niemeyer objects to the logical basis of an 
ideology because the lack of critical analysis does not 
adroit any new truths into the system of ideas. In a 
society ideologically based, "Its core is an ideological 
faith that the inherent logic of concepts can contain 
the measure of right living" (Niemeyer, Between 134). 
Niemeyer says that values in an ideologically based 
system are not arrived at critically and are accepted as 
if they were real (133). He faults ideology for being 
logically based and says an ideological social order is 
one " . . . based on deprivation rather than 
participation" (134). Niemeyer refers to the deductive 
or closed argument. 

A deductive argument means if the premises are 
true, a necessarily true conclusion follows. The 
argument is truth preserving and operates strictly 
according to a set of rules. Rigid ideologies are cast 
as deductive arguments and are "closed systems." An 
axiom is a truth that cannot be questioned. It is a 



principle or set of principles upon which all other 
statements and arguments within a deductive system rely 
for integrity (Hempel 495). Axioms may or may not 
describe the world, but as long as they are accepted as 
being true everything that follows from them is true if 
the argument is to be deductive. For example, let us 
say that all dogs are chipmunks and that all chipmunks 
are elephants. If we accept the first two statements, 
then "all dogs are elephants" is true. This argument is 
tautologous because the conclusion is grounded solely on 
the first two statements. 

Physicist Werner von Heisenberg recognized this 
type of problem in what is now known as the uncertainty 
principle. Observations made by a scientist are going 
to be shaped by what the experimenter establishes as a 
standard for observation. The observer "contaminates" 
the observation, and the values built into the premises 
will be carried noncritically over into the conclusion. 
Deductive truths within an ideology may be specious in 
the real or inductive world because the axioms 
themselves often are not subjected to critical analysis. 
As shown in the previous chapter, arguments that say it 
is true because it is true do not contain any new 
information, do not rely upon critical thinking, and 


represent what Niemeyer says he is trying to avoid in a 
curriculum. A deductive argument's principal value lies 
in producing a new way of looking at the same set of 
information. The D.O.E. ideology and the means used to 
teach it are deductively based because the system the 
D.O.E. justifies is closed, the premises are advanced in 
the curriculum as unquestionable, and the D.O.E. 
requires specific teaching methods. 

The House Un-American Activities Committee 
statement on Americanism, which the D.O.E. relies upon 
in its A.V.C. and F.E.C.E.A. curriculum, says that the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution provide 
the basis for Americanist principles, analogous to 
axioms in logic (Florida State 65). Curricular material 
fails to question that truths are "self-evident" as 
asserted in the Constitution. Whether it is truly a 
flexible document can be judged by what type of order, 
rigid or flexible, it seeks to preserve or foster. 

The U.S. system was born of political economic 
revolution; it radically separated itself from the old 
order of British monarchy " . . .in order to establish a 
more perfect union . . ."as the Constitution states. 
By making this break, the revolutionaries clarified what 
would be allowed inside the system and what would be 


prohibited. Titles of nobility, for example, are not 
permitted, as well as billeting troops without a 
homeowner's consent. The Constitution declares what 
will be permitted legally inside the system, both with 
respect to functions and structures. Americanist 
principles, then, operate according to specific rules. 
Much in the same manner that truths are derived 
"naturally" in a deductive logic system (often referred 
to as a "natural deduction system"), the Declaration 
alludes to "natural" rights in explaining how truths are 
derived in the U.S. system. Anything destructive of 
those rights the people have a right to abolish, but 
only certain people. Despite its pronouncements about 
liberty, justice, and general welfare, but in keeping 
with the spirit of Aristotle's democracy, the 1789 
Constitution applied only to a minority. Fifty percent 
of the population--women, blacks, native Americans, and 
the propertyless--could not vote, according to the 
original Constitution. 

A rigid deduction system does not change with the 
times. An ideologue's view of the world is similar; it 
is also ahistorical and places that person in a position 
of arguing for outdated ways of thinking. Keeping 
people in their places is what happened after the 


British monarch was overthrown two hundred years ago, 
but the traditionalist ideologue with an eighteenth- 
century mindset would argue that everyone should be kept 
in his place today in a similar manner. Nothing in the 
Constitution guarantees the right of a worker to have a 
say about what happens on the job or enjoins businesses 
from abusing the peoples' trust. Statutory law often 
shapes the relationships between business and society, 
as in the anti-trust statutes and minimum wage laws. 
Laws many times are reactions to problems long overdue 
for action, and today, workers still do not enjoy the 
right to a dignified adequately-paying job with the 
power to exercise democracy on the job. 

It is non-legal circumstances, though, that often 
act to restrict a person, at least as much as any law. 
Chapter Six showed what students are really being told 
about how to behave in the workplace and how that 
contrasts with how the D.O.E. portrays the U.S. economic 
system in its free enterprise courses. Workers often 
are kept in the workplace because of what is demanded of 
them on the "outside," especially if the demands are 
shaped by social constraints. For example, making 
abortion illegal, positive reinforcement of child- 
rearing and "family values," and social disdain for 


childlessness act to maintain the economic system by 
requiring people to be tied to a job in order to earn a 
steady income. 

The boundaries of the system are circumscribed in 
this instance by physical necessities imposed by 
prevailing ideas of how people should behave. If a 
woman has to pay at least $10 a week for pantyhose 
because the boss demands she wear them, this worker is 
tied to the workplace even more. Being a whistle blower 
or severe social critic entails risks of losing a job or 
social ostracism. Thus, social systems are not rigid 
just because of what a government allows. 

By implication the system is to be a lasting one, 
that is, in a state of equilibrium. It is to maintain 
itself against all other systems. One F.C.E.E. course 
booklet presents "pure/perfect competition" as " . . .an 
idealized market" where all goods are of the same 
quality, no one person can disproportionately affect the 
market, and the right quantities of goods are always 
offered for sale. (Florida State 40) The bias enters in 
offering this as a desired model, when, in fact, 
inflexible support for the so-called market economy acts 
to restrict the ability of governments to plan and act 
where the economy fails. 


Such a rigid model is like a deductive system being 
used as the sole device to describe and analyze social 
phenomena. One cannot account for unlimited social 
variety with these limited devices. Looking at systems 
deductively--t hat is, deriving conclusions from a 
dogmatically-held set of premises-- may be likened to 
imprisoning social policy. For example, when business 
people say that only the "market" should determine who 
should be employed. "The market," as one prominent 
political scientist says, "might be characterized as a 
prison." Charles Lindbloom says that "it imprisons 
policy making, and imprisons our attempts to improve our 
institutions" (Lindbloom 329). 

In order for the system to be self-maintaining, the 
system normally does not tolerate anything contradictory 
to the principles upon which that system reputedly is 
grounded. David Easton describes an equilibrium-seeking 
system as one in which "all elements or variables in a 
political system are functionally interdependent; and 
second, that they will tend to act and react on each 
other to a point where a state of stability, if even for 
a moment, obtains" (Easton, The Political System 268). 

W. Ross Ashby terms these self -maintaining or 
static systems as "homeostatic," likening them to how 


the human body keeps itself stable (101). A system 
depends upon feedback for its survival so it can assess 
what outputs are acceptable. Nadel states that output, 
or " . . . any conduct in accordance with the social norm 
. . ." comes back partially as input (401). This type 
of feedback justifies the output. The system's ability 
to ascertain acceptable output partially determines 
survivability. Adaptability means the ability of the 
system to change in conformity with what it takes to 
survive. Systems models accounting for adaptability 
often assume that political economies try " . . .to 
persist in a world of stability or change" (Nadel 407). 

Easton says that a system manipulates the 
environment and controls disturbances in order to 
maintain itself. In the process, even the system itself 
can change. Nevertheless, the political system, ". . . 
those interactions through which values are 
authoritatively allocated for a society," tries to 
persist and does so if it allocates values to the 
acceptance of the society's members (Easton, Systems 
428). Of course, it is those members who have 
authority. Even though the process of maintaining a 
system may appear to be democratic, the system still is 
a static entity merely maintaining itself for the 


benefit of those in control {Systems 432). The best 
political theory Easton says he can present is to impute 
to a political system a "theoretical norm" or point of 
reference against which any set of empirical relations 
can be contrasted or compared (Easton, Political System 
278). Advocating that a system should remain the same 
and maintain itself is an appeal to deduction. Deduction 
is, after all, a closed system which does not allow the 
admission of any new elements (Rosser 6, Feibleman 15, 
Copi 51-54 ) . 

The D.O.E. s Deductive Methodology 

A close examination of the A.V.C. and Free 
Enterprise courses shows three major ways the D.O.E. 
exercises its deductive teaching methodology: the 

vagueness of terms and concepts, faulty parallel 
comparison of systems, and dictation to teachers and 
students the "truths" to be used in discussion. These 
problems, however, do not exhaust the reasons the D.O.E. 
program is a poor way to teach economic awareness and 
international understanding, but they illustrate the 
need for the D.O.E. to use a different approach to 
teaching social science. 


By making generalizations and using vague terms it 
is easier to frame premises which people accept as being 
true. This is the principle behind the fallacy; one 
introduces false or ambiguous premises into a deductive 
argument so as to "demonstrate" a dubiously sound 
conclusion. For example, a fallacy of equivocation is 
"All giraffes are tall animals. Therefore a short 
giraffe is a short animal." While all giraffes are 
animals, one cannot by transitivity say that a giraffe 
is a short animal. 

The A.V.C. legislation, itself, says that the U.S. 
political economy is "the one which produces higher 
wages, higher standards of living, greater personal 
freedom and liberty than any other system of economics 
on earth." Furthermore, "No teacher or textual material 
assigned to this course shall present Communism as 
preferable to . . . the free-enterprise economy 
indigenous to the United States" (Florida Revised 
Statutes 233.064). The words higher standards of 
living, "freedom," and "preferable" are unqualified in 
the legislative language. Minimally, we find a picture 
that is much more complicated than the legislation would 
have us believe. 


For example, the D.O.E. approved curricular 
material says "The results of the profit motive and 
competition in the American economy has (sic) been the 
highest standard of living of any nation in the world" 
with "a constant economic growth that has left each 
generation of Americans considerably more well off than 
their parents were" (Goddard et al., CH-310 35). Even 
if material well being was the only criterion for 
judging the worthiness of an economy, "highest standard 
of living" needs qualification. While U.S. workers do 
have relatively higher wages than comparable workers 
throughout the world, they are not guaranteed a minimum 
standard of living. Higher standards of living might be 
gauged by a car in every garage, but that is mitigated 
by the absence of public transportation (Weddle 92). If 
car repair costs are significantly greater than the cost 
of public transportation, then the number of cars a 
family has may not be a good indicator of living 
standards . 

Factually, the U.S. has not experienced constant 
economic growth, as evidenced by the 1930s' Depression, 
and the numerous recessions since that time. In 
addition, discussion needs to include the quality of 
life most Americans have. Poverty levels, environmental 


contamination, and mounting personal debt may be 
considered factors qualifying the phrase "well off" 
(Rodgers and Harrington 406-411). 

In using still another sweeping generalization, the 
legislation states that communism is not preferable to 
the U.S. free enterprise economy. This means that there 
are no aspects of communism that are preferable to those 
of the U.S. economy. Even by correcting the D.O.E. by 
saying that the U.S. has a mixed rather than a "free 
enterprise" economy, it is difficult to imagine that 
there is virtually no feature in the Soviet system that 
is preferable to' what the U.S. system has. Under the 
D.O.E. legislation, one cannot argue favorably, say, 
that the universally available health care in the Soviet 
Union, however minimal, is preferable to the lack of it 
in the U.S. For the D.O.E., nothing in communism can be 
found "preferable" to that in the U.S.; there can be no 
criticism on this point (Florida Revised Statutes 
233.064) . 

The second problem area with the D.O.E. methodology 
is faulty parallelisms. Besides using vague terms, 
teachers must compare systems according to a few 
selected criteria. Communism and Americanism are so 
disparate that one can not compare them sensibly 


according to a single set of standards. If a curriculum 
portrays only the positive aspects of the U.S. political 
economy and the negative aspects of competing, systems, 
an expected conclusion would be that the U.S. system is 
the best one on earth. 

As another example of faulty comparison, the 
H.U.A.C.'s definition of " Airiericanism, " adopted by the 
D.O.E., makes no mention of an economic system; it is 
only a political declaration. "Free enterprise" is an 
economic system only in the Free Enterprise and Consumer 
Education Act. In the 1962 A.V.C. law, "Communism" is 
defined as a "political ideology" and D.O.E. approved 
Center for Economic Education course material calls 
"communism" an economic system as well as a political 
one. It is economic in that it "uses the commands of a 
central planning agency to decide how collectively owned 
resources of a society shall be used." It is political 
in that it wants to abolish "private property and 
individualism" through "the replacement of the market 
system with collective planning" (Goddard et al., CH-310 
4). Because allocation of resources is the focus of 
definition of both the Soviet political and economic 
systems, which aspects of "communism" are to be used for 
comparison with "Americanism?" Later the C.E.E. course 


booklet contradicts itself somewhat by saying that 
"Communism is not really a type of economic system, but 
a utopian and non-attainable ideal where there is 
neither private property nor government and coercion 
(Goddard et al., CH-310 14). 

When the C.E.E. defines "Free enterprise" as "An 
economic system where individuals and businesses risk 
their own investment in competition with other 
individuals and businesses to produce and distribute 
goods and services for profit" to what degree does this 
exist (Goddard et al., CH-310 6)? Every economy is a 
"mixed economy," says the C.E.E. , but each emphasizes 
control differently. However, aspects of the Soviet 
economy may be more controlled than in the U.S. and vice 
versa (Goddard et al., CH-310 8). The method of 
describing the political economies of the Soviet Union 
and the U.S. is too restrictive because the descriptive 
categories are so limited. 

Certainly, the third major area of concern of the 
D.O.E. methodology, telling students and teachers what 
to think, violates the whole injunction to promote 
Niemeyer's critical thinking. Using the deductive 
method of teaching means instilling in the minds of 
students the A.V.C. axiom that only "free enterprise" is 


the world's best system. In the free enterprise 
curriculum high school teachers are told to "Identify 
elements of the American economic system to include: 
freedom, opportunity, justice, efficiency, growth, and 
security." Also, the teachers must "Identify the 
categories of economic systems: traditional, command, 
and market" (Goddard et al., CH-310 72). 

While students learn that "It's not possible to say 
which system is best without considering the relative 
importance of different economic objectives," the 
material, in keeping with the A.V.C. mandate, tells 
students that under "centrally planned or socialist 
economies" people cannot freely choose consumer goods, 
pursue their careers freely, or sell goods freely 
(Goddard et al., CH-310 9). Although students are 
asked, "Under what conditions would communism be 
successful or desired?" students also learn that about 
half the world that is communist wants to destroy the 
U.S. (Goddard et al., CH-310 21). The "American Free 
Enterprise System" reputedly values the individual, 
whereas other systems, by implication, do not (Goddard 
et al., CH-310 34). The obvious conclusion, given these 
premises, is that if one values "freedom" then he is to 
select "free enterprise." If the D.O.E. insists upon a 


logical approach to teaching its curriculum, it is 
dishonest to say that using logic, alone, is teaching 
critical thinking. Still, logic does have a useful role 
in the classroom. 

Other Logical Approaches 

Idealizations are useful in the physical and social 
sciences. Deductive systems do precisely this. Even 
Easton never states that a system ever is permanently 
stable, but "real moments of equilibrium are part of the 
political pattern." He compares the equilibrium 
condition to an ideal, such as the ideal of frictionless 
bodies in physics {The Political System 278-280). 
Problems arise, however, when that idealization is 
mistaken for reality. One way to avoid these problems 
is to admit imperfections regardless of what type of 
logic is used. A person who says the U.S. system is not 
perfect, but that it is the best we have, shows a 
willingness to overlook imperfections in the system. 
However, criticisms of the Soviet Union center about how 
"Marxism" or "communism" does not measure up to the 
ideals. The C.E.E. material defines "communism" as "the 
final utopian goal" that "is not yet achieved" while it 


does not subject capitalism to similar tests such as 
meeting the ideologue's claims of freedom and 
opportunity (Goddard et al., CH-310 10). A disparity 
exists in accepting imperfections in the U.S. system 
while demanding that the Soviet system measure up to 
some ideal. 

The D.O.E. is biased in narrowly selecting elements 
for analysis, and shaping the analysis for some end 
purpose. For example, the C.E.E. acknowledges that in 
the U.S. everyone is not guaranteed work, people may not 
choose the right job, and job changes might cause much 
disruption in family life and income loss. Such 
shortcomings are evidenced by the millions of homeless 
roaming the streets. Although these gross imperfections 
are allowed in the U.S. economy, similar problems 
warrant condemnation by free enterprise ideologues, such 
as "freedom is not available in many centrally planned 
economies. In the Soviet Union," they say, "individuals 
may be assured of a job, " but they cannot work where 
they want in their own field of endeavor (Goddard et 
al., CH-310 33). Of course, if a person in the U.S. is 
forced to support a family, job mobility usually is not 
possible. Ideologues expect the opposing system to 
change because it does not solve the problems of the 


type that exist in the ideologue's own country. The 
ideologue's country is supposed to remain in equilibrium 
while the other country must alter its system. 

Showing the U.S. system is one of equilibrium and 
with feedback logic is too limited a way to get a 
comprehensive picture of a social system while meeting 
Niemeyer's standards of a satisfactory D.O.E. program. 
Other more instructive ways exist to teach an 
understanding of systems. 

Logic is useful in seeing how social entities do 
relate to each other. Even if these entities are 
selected arbitrarily, new interrelationships 
social events can be discovered and new questions can be 
posed about what is happening in society. In effect, 
logic could be used as a pedagogical brainstorming 
device to raise questions and criticisms about the 
issues raised in the D.O.E. courses. Logicians do this 
in creating what would appear, at first, to be 
outrageous models of how they think the world could be. 
A somewhat tongue-in-cheek example of an equilibrium 
system is a computer program designed as an "ideology 
machine." This artificial intelligence program relies 
upon a hierarchical data base in which elements are 
combined to form atoms which, in turn are combined to 


form plans. Plans comprise themes which make up scripts 
of how ideologies might act out world affairs dramas. 
The major instructive point is that a rather coherent 
set of principles put together in a system can result in 
correspondingly coherent behavior which can be called 
"ideological" (Boden 75-76). 

Science fiction writers do the same thing by 
imagining how things could look, given what technology 
and scientific knowledge exists. Logic uses models 
which highlight problems not normally perceived in 
ordinary discourse. Each model type focuses upon the 
type of problem being studied. It " . . . mirrors only 
certain aspects or facets of reality" (Bertalanffy 13). 
Logic can be critical in that no claim has to be made 
which says that any one method or model must always 
necessarily dominate all the rest. 

An inductive system is likened to a system based on 
critical thinking in that the open system may have true 
premises but not necessarily true conclusions. In other 
words, the conclusion follows only with a degree of 
probability. That a principle could be admitted which 
seemingly contradicts already established truths 
suggests that open systems are not compatible with 
ideological thinking. A few axioms held by the 


ideologue do not necessarily lead to other truths in the 
open system. The closed system is more difficult to 
keep viable in a changing environment, for encountering 
new challenges requires the consideration of assumptions 
possibly not acceptable to the ideologue. 

Some inductive logic methods include an 
interdisciplinary problem-solving approach by separating 
the whole society into analyzable components. A number 
of models may be constructed of how this whole operates. 
Cybernetic systems models study the manner in which a 
society seeks goals while maintaining itself. 
Competitive relationships among individuals and groups 
within a system, or among systems themselves, is the 
subject of game theory. Here, some fundamental 
questions are being asked about the intellectual 
relationship between the individual and the State. 
While these methods have their utility they are not 
sufficient to overcome the flaws in the D.O.E. program. 

Criteria for Analyzing Social Systems 

Many issues can be raised about problems for which 
the courses fail to account and for which a critical 
analysis is needed. Opposing ideas have a chance to be 
fully aired when a number of analytical methods are used 


together. At least as important as the issue of logic 
being open-minded is whether the D.O.E. courses can deal 
with the objections and challenges that a logical method 
presents. The D.O.E. states that students must fit into 
society according to state-prescribed educational 
standards, but this does not avoid the charge of being 
rigidly ideological and non-critical . 

If social systems are to be discussed in the manner 
that Niemeyer proposes, that is, in a philosophical way, 
some non-ideological method should be found to do so. A 
mere description of a political economy often results in 
a hodgepodge of isolated facts and unsubstantiated 
generalizations. Although a structural device to 
defend a system may be biased, at least it is a 
framework within which theory can be articulated, 
criticized, and improved. Theory provides reasons for 
why events happen and enables one to take actions to 
forestall unfavorable circumstances and enhance 
favorable ones. This is especially important when a 
major goal is to preserve a political economy as 
Niemeyer appears to want to do. However, fostering 
international understanding requires a different 
approach from saying uncritically that the U.S. system 
is the best in the world and that it is a competitive 


organism which has beaten out all the rest. More than 
good logics are required to overcome this narrowminded 
assumption. The next chapter explores some alternatives 
to the D.O.E. program. 


Why Change is Needed 

One requisite for changing the D.O.E. curriculum is 
a heightened consciousness on the part of educators 
about the role institutions play in limiting academic 
freedom and critical thinking. The A.V.C. and Free 
Enterprise acts, because of the well defined ideology 
they mandate and the elaborate apparatus established to 
teach the ideology, provide a paradigm of how government 
and business operate together to maintain a system and 
discourage any challenges to it. If general public 
school policy dictates the teaching of ideology, then 
instructors at all levels need to take stock of what 
they are doing and decide in conscience whether they 
should help perpetuate the teaching of a state doctrine. 
The policy has not been clarified for universities, but 
there are warnings that it could be. That the Board of 
Regents is on the Florida Council of 100 and the state 
universities are helping to prepare the D.O.E. 
curriculum in conjunction with the Florida Council on 
Economic Education suggest that the universities condone 



the teaching of ideology. Besides university 
sponsorship of the curriculum, academicians should be 
wary because legal force still exists for what the 
D.O.E. is doing (Florida Revised Statutes 
232 . 246 ( 1 ) (b) ( 5 ) ) . Heightened consciousness also means 
the willingness to assess critically what happens in 
U.S. society. Critical thinking can play a vital role 
in making this country a better place in which to live. 
Here, goods and services are generally available, 
whereas in other countries they often are not. People, 
for the most part, can choose where to live without 
formal governmental approval. Freedom of expression is 
not as restricted by the government as it is in many 
other places. These and many liberties can be exercised, 
but governmental authority is not the only form of 
restriction . 

Materials for the economics portion of the D.O.E. 
program repeatedly make the comparison between a 
"capitalist and socialist system" (Goddard et al., CH- 
310 passim) . In appearing to offer a balanced 
presentation between the two economies the D.O.E. - 
sponsored Center for Economic Education booklet The 
American Free Enterprise System says that the price for 
"freedom of consumer choice" is choosing goods which are 


"disappointing or even harmful." Government regulations 
are said to be the answer. The material claims that 
U.S. people can pursue careers freely, but there may be 
considerable disruption or loss of income. In socialist 
countries, claims the text, people cannot choose jobs 
freely, or buy what they want (Goddard et al., CH-310 
32-34). D.O.E. assertions often made with emotionally- 
charged labels such as "free" or "dictator." Merely 
labeling ideas as "socialist" or "atheistic" and giving 
only one side of the story not only defeats Nieraeyer's 
mandate for critical thinking but denies students the 
opportunity to become effective citizens by being aware 
of urgent problems. There are many features of this 
economy that if not addressed may cause serious 
disruption in the U.S. 

Without money, people cannot buy the things they 
want or go to just any place. In many areas of the 
country, the "free enterprise" and religionist ideology 
is so pervasive that peer pressure often will stop free 
expression. Most people either do not have 
comprehensive health care or are made financially 
destitute with a major medical treatment, thus forcing 
them into poorly maintained charity hospitals 
( Freudenheim ) . Superfluous variety in goods and 


services often causes people to waste as much time in 
selecting what they "want" as standing in the longest 
line in the Eastern Bloc countries. Waste in production 
also poses serious environmental risks, and if people do 
not rethink this issue, there may be no planet to 
support humanity. The supply of individuals competing 
with each other for the same job or educational 
opportunity too often exceeds the demand. Lack of 
affordable housing makes thousands homeless. 

The basic assumption that workers are paid the full 
value of their contribution to their product is not a 
regular topic of public controversy. D.O.E. courses do 
not present collective ownership and control of the 
workplace as a viable alternative despite examples of 
plants purchased and operated in the U.S. by employees. 
Neither does the public see this debated frequently in 
the general media. Severely criticizing the system, 
followed by proposing serious alternatives to the 
established order, does not automatically imply that a 
soviet-style system is preferable. What works in the 
Soviet Union may or may not work here. Cuba, for 
example, has its unique committees for the Defense of 
the Revolution, something not found in the U.S.S.R. 

Human life, if it has any value, cannot be measured 


materially. A humane society is predicated upon the 
idea that human dignity means that a person is 
encouraged to think philosophically. That, even the 
D.O.E. says. More poignantly, failing to think 
critically about world affairs may result in a nuclear 
holocaust for us all. Alternatives to wasting human 
life surely exist. Critical examination and willingness 
to try other systems often provide answers. Different 
methods of education and social organization have been 
tried, with varying degrees of success. Others have 
addressed the cold war issue by attempting to form 
alternative programs and societies. 

Alternative Educational Programs 

A central ingredient of an educational program that 
promotes peace and understanding is critical thinking. 
The D.O.E. program does precisely the opposite through 
promoting rigidly-held ideas that can at best be 
described as antiquated. As John Dewey said "... some 
attitudes. . . central in effective ways of dealing with 
subject matter . . ." are ". . . directness, open- 
mindedness, single mindedness (or whole-heartedness), 
and responsibility" (173). Through education, people can 


become aware of how to be effective citizens capable of 
assuming responsibility both in their own lives and in 
the workplace. Bowles and Gintis have shown that 
"Essential to the success of the program would be a 
coalition of students, teachers, community groups, and 
worker's organizations" (250). Some attempts at 
achieving these ideals have been tried. 

Sumemrhill is a school in England founded in 1921 
that, at first glance, would seem to accomplish 
Niemeyer's goal of producing critically-thinking 
citizens and address the concerns of Dewey, Bowles and 
Gintis and also be an effective remedy against cold war 
hysteria. The school is designed to counter schools for 
". . . uncreative citizens who want docile, uncreative 
children who will fit into a civilization whose standard 
of success in money" (Neill 4). Children are assumed to 
be capable of thinking and, given a chance, will m.ake 
wise and realistic decisions. All school rules are 
voted upon by students, and a general principle of 
behavior is that anyone can do as she or he wants as 
long as others are not hurt. "Is what Mr. X doing 
really harmful to anyone else?" (Neill 344) If the 
answer is no, then objectors to Mr. X are acting anti- 



However, the Head-Master ultimately approves the 
regulations but with the stipulation that they are 
beneficial to the children. Class attendance is not 
mandatory, but as children grow older, they go more 
regularly. Quality of the courses sometimes is in doubt 
at various levels, but a British education commission 
concluded that " . . . valuable educational research is 
going on here which it would do all educationist good to 
see" (Neill 85). Summerhill's advocates appear to be 
promoting Niemeyer's ideal of critical thinking by 
raising a child with the values of mutual self respect 
and a happy "genuine" individual who will not be a 
"misfit" (Neill xiv) . The school's founder, A.S. Neill, 
says, "My view is that a child is innately wise and 
realistic. If left to himself without adult suggestion 
of any kind, he will develop as far as he is capable of 
developing" (Neill 4). In this laissez-faire 
environment, Neill assumes that children will develop a 
sense of self-government, criticism, and fair play. 

Another supporter, Eric Fromm, admits to the ". . ^ 
remarkable success in teaching achieved in the Soviet 
Union." In the same paragraph, though, the seeds of 
cold war antagonism are sown by his accusation that 


"old-fashioned methods of authoritarianism are applied 
in full strength" (Neill i). Neill lends credence to 
this view in saying "The very nature of society is 
inimical to freedom" (122). The implication is that 
advocates of Summerhill, also the advocates of freedom, 
should oppose the Soviet Union. While Summerhill may 
seem to favor the critical thinking that Niemeyer seeks, 
Neill's saying that " Society--the crowd--is conservative 
and hateful toward new thought" would have that school's 
proponents go even further than those of the A.V.C. in 
opposing the Soviet Union (122). All societies for 
Neill are rejected; he does not like any of them. 

Places like Loblolly School in Gainesville, 
Florida, for young children, and The Center for 
Participant Education in Tallahassee, Florida, for 
adults, still offer themselves as alternatives to the 
public school system, but if they subscribe to 
Summerhill 's anarchy, one cannot expect a radical 
turnabout from the cold war mentality that shaped A.V.C. 
On a larger scale attempts have been made to create 
cooperative economic systems that promote popular 
decision making. Numerous examples exist, such as the 
Mexican Ejido cooperatives and the Israeli Kibbutzim 
(Infield passim). The Miccouskee Land Cooperative, and 


the Leon County Food and Vegetable cooperatives in 
Tallahassee, Florida, have proved to be thriving 
examples of how collective decision-making works (Felder 
passim) . While the lack of ideological direction may be 
compatible with critical thinking, the resulting anarchy 
can inhibit effective directed action and result in the 
same cold war mentality engendered by Summerhill-type 
schools. Any attempt to make changes nationwide also 
would fail with the same mentality. 

Advocates of the D.O.E. program are quite right in 
asserting that the ideological program must be total in 
scope touching every aspect of the student's life. 
Michael Apple says that educational theory hardly can be 
neutral. It must "... have its roots in a theory of 
economic and social justice." The criteria used to 
characterize justice Apple puts in terms of "increasing 
the advantage and power of the least advantaged" (158). 
A more fundamental approach to establishing social 
justice would be to say that the quality of life is 
dependent upon whether persons can have control over 
their lives, and this means people are generally 
recognized as individuals having the capacity to do so. 

The D.O.E. talks of philosophy versus ideology, and 
this distinction should be used to find out how this 


basic principle of justice can be extended to everyone 
in society. Dewey says that philosophy may be regarded 
" . . .as thinking which is conscious of itself . . . " 
and that " . . . is the theory of education as a 
deliberately conducted practice" (332). All of the 
above models for social change may have their 
advantages, but each is faced with the same mentality 
that helped spawn the U.S. responses to communism and 
the Americanism versus Communism program in Florida and 
so many other states. 

What An Education Program Must Address 

There are three ways the United States has dealt 
with the U.S.S.R. since the end of World War Two 
(Compton passim). First has been the Truman Doctrine of 
containing what the U.S. and its allies refer to as 
"communism," expressed in a speech 12 March 1947. 
Winston Churchill, in a Fulton, Missouri, speech on 5 
March 1946, promoted the idea of containment by claiming 
that the Soviet Union had dropped an "iron curtain" 
between western and eastern Europe. By lending support 
to countries ringing the Soviet Union, communism would 
not spread. On 4 April 1949 Truman signed the North 


Atlantic Treaty Organization act, specifically designed 
to "contain" coranmnism. 

The second cold war response was telling the world 
how loyal the American people were to their country and 
the ideals of capitalism. This response encouraged 
others living in socialist countries to reject communism 
and adopt capitalism as their system. Sponsors of Radio 
Free Europe hoped people living in eastern European 
socialist countries would revolt and call for U.S. 
assistance. Inside the U.S. numerous congressional 
investigations, motivated by Senator Joe McCarthy, 
questioned the loyalty of dissenters. The effect was to 
silence opposition and create a facade of unity against 
world communism. 

The third way of responding to communism has been 
with detente. Various nuclear test ban treaties, such 
as one of 25 July 1963 , and summit talks evidence 
attempts by the superpowers to keep peace while standing 
apart from each other. None of these strategies has 
fostered world peace and understanding, as evidenced by 
the bloated military budgets sustained by both 
countries. Certainly, Florida's repeated affirmation of 
A.V.C. does not foster that understanding either. 


There must be a willingness on the part of 
educators to change this cold war environment if 
educators are to bring about changes like those 
envisioned by Apple (156). However, the United States 
is not undergoing a fundamental change in attitude 
towards its chief rival, the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics. Summit conferences and test ban treaties, 
while helpful, are only window dressing as long as 
national leaders talk about "evil em.pires," students are 
required to take A.V.C.-type courses, and nationally 
used social studies texts insist that students 
uncritically accept that the Soviet Union is the 
aggressor against the "free world." For example, 
McGruder' s American Government accuses the Soviet Union 
of aggression by relying upon U.S. State Department 
interpretations. There are no notes or discussions 
indicating a legitimate opposing view, such as the 
United States being the instigator of some major world 
conflicts. One would expect an opposing view in using a 
critical thinking approach to social studies 
(McClenaghan 493-498). 

If a world understanding is to be created and is to 
be lasting, there must be lasting world peace. World 


peace can come about through a mutual and fundamental 
change in attitude towards each other. For the U.S.'s 
part this includes appropriately referring to eastern 
European countries and friends of the Soviet Union as 
"socialist" and not "communist," or captive nations. 
Moreover, it involves an understanding of not only how 
the cold war mentality arose but why past relations with 
the U.S.S.R. have failed. 

Aside from the fact that the U.S. policymakers have 
mistakenly referred to the "spread of communism," these 
three strategies have not worked. Instead of 
"communism," many more peoples have opted for socialism 
since the end of World War Two. A great portion of the 
gross national products of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. is 
consumed by bloated war budgets. Clearly, the 
traditional cold war mentality and strategies have not 
worked. One answer to this problem is a different 
curriculum having a truly critical philosophy. 

The California Program 

California adopted a program in 1985 that goes a 
great distance in fulfilling Niemeyer's criteria for a 
critical social studies curriculum while, at the same 


time mitigating the elements which helped spawn 
Florida's A.V.C. program. As a response to calls for 
upgrading academic standards, the Model Curriculum 
Standards were designed to have all students " . 
understand and appreciate our culture and our political 
and ethical ideals." The core curriculum centers about 
" . . . our sense of history, our membership in groups 

and institutions, our relationship to nature, our need 
for well-being, and our growing dependence on 
technology" (California State 1). After being reviewed 
by numerous teachers, advisory committees and field 
review groups of that state adopted the standards to be 
used as a guide for preparing courses of study in the 
high schools. 

California standards say that "Integral to the 
study of History-Social Science is the examination of 
issues chosen to teach critical thinking skills." This 
includes reporting, analyzing, interpreting, speculating 
and writing ". . . critically, using a variety of 

resources." As further evidence of the open-mindedness 
of the California curriculum the report on standards 
states, "Students should be sensitive to the pluralistic 
and diverse nature of today's world. They need also to 
realize that history does not only deal with white 


males, nor is it only an artifact of Western 
civilization" (California State HS-6). In particular, a 
social studies course should "present the history of the 
West in a world context, stressing the developing 
interrelations between Western societies and other 
peoples. Western history and world history are not 
synonymous. It should avoid compartmentalizing of 
historical chronologies of either the West or the other 
major civilizations." A course should . . . consider 
both capitalism and its critics besides familiarizing 
students with such terms as "capitalism, communism, 
industrialism, . . . mercantilism, and socialism" 
(California State HS-33). 

California urges teachers to present students with 
varying views on nationalism, liberalism, socialism, and 
popular democracy, as well as the "Ideologies of 
democracy, socialism, communism, and fascism" 
(California State HS-40 - HS-41). The catalog of 
standards occasionally slips into questionable mandates 
such as "A course should show that the United States has 
an economy characterized by . . . competition and market 
structure, freedom of choice" and assertions that income 
distribution in the U.S. ". . . is a result of an 
interaction of market forces and government policies" 


(California State HS-54). While it also refers to the 
" . . . appreciation of modern democratic values in 
comparison to other political ideologies, including 
totalitarianism and dictatorships," no modern country is 
named, thus avoiding the cold war name-calling 
(California State HS-35). 

There are vast sections on labor history, roles of 
women, the environment, and common people, such as 
farmers, slaves, laborers, women, and children 
(California State HS-18 - HS-22). Also, teachers are to 
spend time on civil rights, political corruption (such 
as Watergate), imperialism, native Americans, and 
different religions. The standards say that a social 
studies course should teach "An ability to examine 
controversial public issues openly using the most 
rigorous intellectual standards" and the critical 
thinking skills specifically include defining problems, 
judging information, and solving problems (California 
State HS-24 ) . 

There is none of the Florida D.O.E. rhetoric about 
the U.S. economy being the best in the world or that the 
benefits of other systems should not be taught. There 
is a concern for the cold war and California urges 
serious discussions about the war budget and the "... 


continuing post-war preoccupation with security" 
resulting in Vietnam, Central America, and the arms 
control debates (California State HS-50). While it may 
be expected that there is to be an undercurrent of 
advocacy for the U.S. system, students are encouraged to 
think critically about all systems and current 
governmental policies, including those in the foreign 
policy arenas. California may not have a guaranteed 
solution for eliminating cold war hysteria, but it 
points the way towards a more tolerant U.S. population. 

Students hardly can understand other social systems 
if the D.O.E. curriculum is used, especially if they are 
told that in no way is the Soviet system to be preferred 
over that of the U.S. We should accept the Soviet 
system for what it is--that is, a system that has much 
to offer in the way of solving some urgent U.S. 
socioeconomic problems. The Soviet Union already is 
taking this approach by glasnost and perestroika , in 
adopting some practices used in the U.S. such as 
decentralization of some state factories. 

If we adopt and teach the view that both countries 
can work together in solving the world's problems, we 
can talk more seriously about alternative social orders. 
In space, as well as on earth, both Soviet and U.S. 


peoples can further the whole human race by working 
together. On the other hand, as long as states like 
Florida continue with their hard-line, puerile cold war 
rhetoric, we cannot hope for much change. it is 1988, 
but Americanism versus Communism is still Florida's law 
representing that state's institutionalized ideology. 



233.064 Americanism vs. Communism; required high school 

(1) The Legislature of the state hereby finds it 
to be a fact that: 

(a) The political ideology commonly known and 
referred to as Communism is in conflict with and 
contrary to the principles of Constitutional Governm.ent 
of the United States as epitomized in its National 

(b) The successful exploitation and manipulation 
of youth and student groups throughout the world today 
are a major challenge which the free world forces must 
meet and defeat, and 

(c) The best method of meeting this challenge is 
to have the youth of the state and nation thoroughly and 
completely informed as to the evils, dangers and 
fallacies of Communism by giving them a thorough 
understanding of the entire communist movement, 
including its history, doctrines, objectives and 
techniques . 

(2) The public high schools shall each teach a 
complete course of not less than 30 hours, to all 
students enrolled in said public high schools entitled 
"Americanism versus Communism." 

(3) The course shall provide adequate instruction 
in the history, doctrines, objectives and techniques of 
Communism and shall be for the primary purpose of 
instilling in the minds of the students a greater 
appreciation of democratic processes, freedom under law, 
and the will to preserve that freedom. 

(4) The course shall be one of orientation in 
comparative governments and shall emphasize the free- 
enterprise-competitive economy of the United States as 
the one which produces higher wages, higher standards of 
living, greater personal freedom and liberty than any 
other system of economics on earth. 



(5) The course shall lay particular emphasis upon 
the dangers of Communism, the ways to fight Communism, 
the evils of Communism, the fallacies of Communism, and 
the false doctrines of Communism. 

(6) The state textbook council and the Department 
ofEducation shall take such action as may be necessary 
and appropriate to prescribe suitable textbook and 
instructional material as provided by state law, using 
as one of their guides the official reports of the House 
committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate 
Internal Security Subcommittee of the United States 
Congress . 

1988 Revised Florida Statues 


233.0641 Free enterprise and consumer education program 

(1) This section may be known and cites as the 
"Free enterprise and Consumer Education Act." 

(2) The public schools shall each conduct a free 
enterprise and consumer education program in which each 
student shall participate. 

(3) Acknowledging that the free enterprise or 
competitive economic system exists as the prevailing 
economic system in the United States, the program shall 
provide detailed instruction in the day-to-day consumer 
activities of our society, which instruction may 
include, but not be limited to, advertising, appliances, 
banking, budgeting, credit, governmental agencies, 
guarantees and warranties, home and apartment rental and 
ownership, insurance, law, medicine, motor vehicles, 
professional services, savings, securities, and taxes. 
The program shall provide a full explanation of the 
factors governing the free enterprise system and the 
forces influencing production, distribution, and 
consumption of goods and services. It shall provide an 
orientation in other economic systems. 

(4) In developing the consumer education program, 
the Department of Education shall give special emphasis 
to : 

(a) Coordinating the efforts of the various 
disciplines within the educational system and activities 
of the divisions of the Department of Education which are 
concerned with consumer education. 

(b) Assembling, developing, and distributing 
instructional materials for use in consumer education. 

(c) Developing programs for inservice and preserves 
teacher training in education. 

(d) Coordinating and assisting the efforts of 
private organizations and other governmental agencies 
which are concerned with consumer education. 

(5) The commissioner of Education shall, at least 
30 days prior to the 1975 session of the Legislature, 



transmit to members of the State Board of Education, the 
President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, and the chairmen of the Senate and 
House Committees on Education a statement of the overall 
free enterprise and consumer program, together with a 
recommended method of evaluating student understanding 
of the program. Each year thereafter, the commissioner 
shall transmit to the above named persons an appraisal 
of the overall consumer education program as to the 
effectiveness as shown by performance-based tests, 
efficiency and utilization of resources, including there 
with a statement of the overall consumer education 
program for the coming fiscal year and any other 
recommendations deemed by the commissioner to be 
appropriate . 

1988 Revised Florida Statues 


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Upon graduating from Kennebunk (Maine) High School, 
Jeremy Horne attended Nasson College in Springvale, 
Maine, later receiving his A.B. degree from Johns 
Hopkins University in international affairs in 1967. He 
completed his master's degree in political science from 
Southern Connecticut State University in 1969. Based on 
classified archives in Washington, he concluded in his 
thesis that the U.S. State Department and U.S. War 
Department from 1931 to 1947 formulated well-articulated 
but contradictory policies on how to use Viet-Nam to the 
U.S. ' s advantage . 

Besides being a reporter for several newspapers and 
working as a VISTA volunteer in the early 1970s, Horne 
taught extensively both in public schools and community 
colleges in numerous states. More recent university and 
college experience includes graduate assistant teaching 
in logic at University Florida from 1982 to 1984 and a 
year teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced 
logic at Louisiana State University from 1984-1985. 
Currently, Horne is teaching logic at Cochise Community 
College in Douglas, Arizona. 



The widespread rigidity in school curricula, 
especially the Americanism versus Communism, and Free 
Enterprise laws, made him determined to take advantage 
of the University of Florida philosophy department's 
applied philosophy program in preparing a document to be 
used in helping to change Florida's program and programs 
like it. 

I certify that I have read this study and that in 
my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of 
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope 
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy. 

Richard P 



of Philosophy 

I certify that I have read this study and that in 
my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of 
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope 
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy. 

I 'h ■ i 111 ; ) 

Ellen S. Haring ^ 

Professor of Philosophy \ 

I certify that I have read this study and that in 
my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of 
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope 
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy. 

Robert D'Amico 

Associate Professor of Philosophy 

I certify that I have read this study and that in 
my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of 
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope 
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy. 

Norman N. Markel 
Professor of Speech 

I certify that I have read this study and that in 
my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of 
scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope 
and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor 
of Philosophy. 

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate 
Faculty of the Department of Philosophy in the College 
of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate School 
and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Samuel D. Andrews 

Associate Professor of Foundations 
of Education 

December 1988 

Dean, Graduate School